Chinese Christian Community Under Pressure

The Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad is somewhat of an outlier in the European media sphere, as it is expressly a Christian newspaper. You can see right there in its logo, written at the top: Christelijk betrokken, or “Engaged in a Christian manner” (“Christianly engaged,” if you like). Surf to the paper’s website on Sunday and you’ll find nothing: that’s the Lord’s day of rest, after all.

It’s not alone, though: the Reformatorisch Dagblad, or “Reformed Daily,” is similar, although that website does stay open on Sundays. People should not confuse the allegedly “anything goes” atmosphere of cosmopolitan cities like Amsterdam (see this weblog’s recent coverage of the famous yearly Gay Pride parade there, for example) with Dutch culture as a whole, which in fact features some enclaves which can easily hold their own in the Christian piety department with any of the American Amish communities.

The Nederlands Dagblad reports today, as the 2008 Olympic Games open in Beijing, that the Chinese church leader Zhang Mingxuan was recently arrested by the authorities in his hometown in the province of Henan, along with his wife and another associate, and brought to an office of the “security services” in that province’s capital, Zhengzhou. This follows Zhang’s being driven out of his Beijing by the authorities at the beginning of last month, and then out of the city itself two weeks ago.

The Stichting De Ondergrondse Kerk (a Dutch name, of course: “Foundation of the Underground Church”) has issued a call to make these opening days of the Olympic Games days of prayer on behalf of the persecuted Christians in China.

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