Boxer Rebellion Revisited As China Set To Ban Foreign Missionaries

In a move recalling 1900’s Boxer Rebellion, officials in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) are preparing to ban foreign missionaries from China.

Screenshot from “Reading Through History” on the Boxer Rebellion. The individual being restrained is about to be beheaded.

The “Foreign Religious Activities in the People’s Republic of China” draft rules released earlier this month provide 40 Articles covering virtually every aspect of missionary work in the world’s most populous country.

“Foreigners are also not allowed to set up religious groups, engage in activities, or open schools, proselytise among Chinese citizens, recruit followers, or accept donations from Chinese citizens (Article 21),” according to LifeSiteNews, quoting AsiaNews.It.

Foreign-based groups, including missionaries representing Protestant groups like the Southern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Missions Board and the Catholic Church in Rome, must register with SARA, then wait 20 days before being told what they can and cannot do.

The registration requires names of each individual associated with the group seeking to operate in China, as well as detailed information about proposed activities.

The authorization also includes review of materials proposed for distribution to Chinese citizens. Thus, missionaries may carry with them into China no more than 10 copies of the Bible.

The SARA regulations are the latest development in the CCP’s expanding effort to contain and ultimately eliminate the influence of Christianity in China. Go here for previous HillFaith reporting on these developments.

“The government has orchestrated a campaign to ‘sinicise’ Christianity, to turn Christianity into a fully domesticated religion that would do the bidding of the party,” Lian Xi, a Duke University professor who focuses on Christianity in modern China, told The Guardian earlier this year.

Persecution of Christians is not a new thing in China, as the decade-long Cultural Revolution launched by Chairman Mao Tse Sung specifically targeted Christians.

The SARA regulations also recall the 1900 Boxer Rebellion that sought to remove all “foreign devils” from China. The Boxer Rebellion especially targeted Chinese converts to Christianity in a bloody purge that saw many tortured and murdered.


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Where Is God In All This Pandemic?

Whenever there are tough times either for the nation or for us as individuals, it’s inevitable that people ask where God is in the midst of the challenges, pain and setbacks.

HillFaith is focused on the 20,000 or so mostly young men and women who work on Capitol Hill for senators, representatives and congressional agencies, but I actually live in Maryland and attend Friendship Baptist Church with my wife, Claudia, in Sykesville.

Like thousands of other churches in America, our Sunday morning services, Grow Groups (what used to be known as “Sunday School”) and Connection Groups (small groups for fellowship, service and study) have gone online until the Pandemic is sufficiently past that groups will again be allowed to meet.

This morning’s service by Senior Pastor Mark Massey is on this question of where is God when we need Him in the midst of crises. I suspect there are more than a few HillFaith readers who are asking this question and perhaps Mark’s sermon thoughts will be helpful:


 

PUEBLA 2020: ‘PoPo’ The Volcano Is Quiet Today But God The Creator Is Not

People living in Puebla respectfully call the nearby 17,000 foot-high volcano Popocatepetl “PoPo” and when it erupts, everybody, including folks in Mexico City some 83 miles northeast of here, can hear, feel and smell the explosions.

PoPo is not erupting today, though, as you can see from the photo above, its typical grey smoky plume is clearly visible. Despite the silence, everybody knows that just below the crater, pressure and heat are building for the inevitable next eruption.

God is like that, at least in the sense that He is constantly at work beyond our awareness implementing His will for this world. We often don’t hear God in action, but for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, He is constantly working. Continue reading “PUEBLA 2020: ‘PoPo’ The Volcano Is Quiet Today But God The Creator Is Not”

PUEBLA 2020: It’s All About Christ, Cranes And Cows On Day Two

Turn on a cable TV reality show about home remodeling, customizing cars or rescuing animals and odds are good there will be an episode that revolves around having to get something done by a deadline.

The first of 40 heavy roof panels is lifted to the third floor of Hananeel Baptist Church on Day Two of Puebla 2020.

Miss the deadline and bad things will come to pass. It’s all faux drama, of course, using a corny plot device to, hopefully, keep viewers’ attention focused on the program long enough to impact ratings and advertising sales.

Here in Puebla, Mexico, on Day Two of the 20th annual Friendship mission trip week, there was genuine drama with a real deadline and costly consequences for failing to get a crucial task done within the available time.

That crucial task was moving 40 insulated panels, including 18 that were 40 feet in length and 12 that were 22 feet long, from the street level courtyard of Hananeel Baptist Church to the top of the third floor for subsequently being moved into position to form the roof of the main sanctuary building. Continue reading “PUEBLA 2020: It’s All About Christ, Cranes And Cows On Day Two”

Sunday Breakfast In Puebla

It’s Puebla Week for 2020, so I and a bunch of fellow believers from Friendship Baptist Church in Sykesville, Maryland, and a bunch of other places from around the country are here for the week to do construction work for Hananeel Baptist and to share the Gospel with the people of this beautiful city.

Sunday breakfast in Puebla 2020.

I’ll be posting reports here on HillFaith each day to share what’s happening. We will be erecting a roof on the third floor of Hananeel’s main building, starting tomorrow, plus assorted other carpentry, electrical, etc. chores.

Today, though, a bunch of us will be in the worship service at Hananeel, and others of us are heading over to a church plant in a distant suburb where Friendship’s Senior Pastor, Mark Massey, will share a message and I will talk a bit about how the Lord has blessed me.

It’s going to be a great week, so stick around for each day’s reports, plus lots of photos. And all prayers are appreciated!


Sunday breakfast in Puebla 2020.

EMERGING ISSUES ON THE HILL: Is Jesus Really Appearing To Dozens Of Muslims In The Middle East?

Reports of Jesus appearing in dreams or in some kind of apparent bodily form to Muslims in the Middle East are being heard with increasing frequency, and not just from evangelical Christian missionaries.

McLean Bible Church logo. (Screen shot)

As a result, the time is coming soon when Christians and skeptics alike will have to take public notice, and sooner than later for congressional aides in jobs working on international relations, foreign assistance, religious freedoms and related issues.

Senior Pastor David Platt of McLean Bible Church in McLean, Va., is the latest to share information about such an experience, according to the Christian Post.

McLean Bible Church is a huge congregation in the prosperous Northern Virginia suburb just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital. Many of the congregants are federal workers, congressional aides and others drawn by the presence of the central government. Continue reading “EMERGING ISSUES ON THE HILL: Is Jesus Really Appearing To Dozens Of Muslims In The Middle East?”

Will You Help Me Double HillFaith’s Followers? It’s Easy, Just Ask One Person To Join You Here

Taking the Good News to the ends of the Earth includes sharing the Gospel with people working for Congress

God has already blessed HillFaith in countless ways that I never expected and one of most important of them is the number of readers like you who have chosen to follow this humble blog.

Clicking on the Follow link in the right-hand column of the homepage is all a person has to do in order to receive an alert whenever a new post appears on HillFaith. If you haven’t also followed HillFaith on its Facebook page, you can do so by going here.

Continue reading “Will You Help Me Double HillFaith’s Followers? It’s Easy, Just Ask One Person To Join You Here”