Analysis. Mass protests of an unprecedented scale and intensity have broken out in several cities across China, not seen since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, told Fox & Friends that the protests erupting last weekend and growing by the day are far more dangerous. He believes the current uprisings could signal a political turning point regarding Xi’s reign over the country.
Have you taken your place on the wall?
“This is actually more dangerous than 1989, the Tiananmen Square massacre, because then protesters really wanted to keep the Communist Party in place but just wanted to replace some hard-line leaders. This is more like 1949, where the Chinese people had just given up on the nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek, and then the communists came in.”
A CNN Report on the protests emphasizes that the oppressive COVID policies of Xi Jinping’s government were the trigger that sent growing frustration over his totalitarian regime to the point of boiling over. In Chengdu, protestors shouted, “Opposition to dictatorship,” and “We don’t want emperors! We don’t want lifelong rulers!” According to one protestor, the experience of suffocating censorship inevitably fuels the desire for institutional and spiritual freedom.
These may have a familiar ring to our readers who have been around a while. Protests in the Polish city of Gdansk shipyards that started the Solidarity movement in 1980 grew and eventually led to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe a mere nine years later. Like what we are seeing in China today, the European anti-communist movement brought the people’s hatred of oppression out in the open until it outgrew the governments’ ability to repress it. People gladly risked brutal knock-downs, arrest, and imprisonment to collectively reach the end goal: freedom of expression, freedom to worship, and a free market economy. That is the case in China now as well. Social media footage has shown that the police are getting increasingly violent in their attempts to squelch the unrest. In addition, a live update by the BBC about the protests notes that protesters calling for the resignation of Xi-Jinping should expect life to become a lot more difficult.
The protests in China are once again evidence that repression of human nature does not work. Ultimately, the will of the people triumphs over totalitarian rule. After all, God has designed us with the desire to express ourselves freely, albeit with a heart and soul that is inclined to Him. Perhaps that is why experts like Gordon Chang and professor Steve Tsang, Director of the China Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, believe the Chinese government is at risk of losing control. While the collapse of communism would be a welcome event for the Chinese people, it would mean that the world has to prepare for massive shifts in the global political and economic landscapes.
Intercessors like us, however, are primarily concerned with the spiritual implications of what is happening in China. Since the communist takeover in 1948, when all foreign missionary activity ceased, a quiet revival has occurred. After 100 years of missions, there were an estimated 700,000 Christians in China. In the 70 years that followed, the number of Christians grew to an estimated 58 million, of which more than 23 million meet in house churches. It is difficult to obtain accurate numbers; some have estimated the number to be over 100 million. Unsubstantiated reports from missionary visitors to China claim that the house church movement has been seeing more than 10,000 converts a month, all of whom are painstakingly vetted and documented in an attempt to keep out government informants. One of those visitors told me recently that Chinese house churches are aiming to outgrow CCCP membership in numbers. While the government under Xi has openly stated its aim to dominate the world, the house church movement also has an aggressive mission vision that goes far beyond China. The Back to Jerusalem movement, which aims to bring the gospel to every country along the ancient silk route from Beijing to Jerusalem, is alive and well.
The house church movement has seen its most rapid growth in the last ten years and is itself a protest of sorts against the Chinese communist regime. However, it does not involve public protests and placards but quiet defiance of the government’s ban on unregistered churches. Its civil disobedience and that of the current protest movements could combine to become an unstoppable force that would cause the demise of the CCP and its replacement with a more democratic government – one that would allow freedom of worship, among other things.
Many believed the popular protest movements in Eastern Europe that toppled communism were an answer to decades of prayer targeting the Soviet bloc. We know that thousands have prayed along similar lines for China. Could we be seeing an answer to those prayers beginning to unfold?
Now is a strategic time to step up our intercession for China! We do so in the rock-solid faith that God has ordained to win mighty victories over opposition to the gospel through the prayers of His people:
At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word (Colossians 4:3).
Hard-fought freedom is no freedom unless people find their freedom in Christ. Therefore, let us pray along these lines:
- That a work of the Holy Spirit meets the desire for freedom in the hearts of protestors to seek God.
- That God would unite and intensify the intercession of house churches for the salvation of their protesting compatriots.
- That the protesters’ desire to have freedom would meet bold, courageous, and wise preaching of the gospel that offers true freedom in Christ.
- That God would work through the growing protests in powerful ways to bring the communist regime to its knees and open the door to freedom of speech and worship.
- That His arm would restrain the police and their leadership from violent crackdowns, despite the government’s promise to use force.
- Pray that the Lord would prevent Chinese aggression against Taiwan. According to Gordon Chang in an interview with NewsMax on Monday morning, this would be a strategic time for China to do so. It would create a distraction of the world’s attention from the protests, and the U.S. can only supply minimal aid to Taiwan since most of what is available is going to Ukraine. Supernatural intervention is needed.
Father, we unite in prayer today for the protests in China. May your mighty arm restrain the authorities’ response. Incline the hearts of the protesters to You and open the door for believers to share the road to true freedom – the gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray that the gospel will spread quickly and reach the hearts of those whose eyes have been opened and whose hearts are being stirred against the evils of totalitarianism. May they hear and put their faith in the true freedom brought about by the gospel of Jesus Christ. In His Name we pray, Amen!
How are you praying for the Chinese people? Share your prayers and scriptures below.
Remco Brommet is a pastor, spiritual-growth teacher, and prayer leader with over 40 years of experience in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the U.S. Born and raised in the Netherlands and having pastored his first church in Amsterdam, he moved to the U.S. in 1986. He and his wife, Jennifer, live north of Atlanta. When not writing books, he blogs at www.deeperlifeblog.com and assists his wife as a content developer and prayer coordinator for True Identity Ministries. Jennifer and Remco are passionate about bringing people into a deeper relationship with Christ. Photo Credit: Getty Images.