China update: Even landlords targeted in regional crackdown on unofficial churches, Uighur Christians get access to digital Scripture and opportunity for the Gospel to take hold in Tibet
Unofficial Protestant churches continue to suffer in a crackdown in China. In Henan province anyone found providing venues for an “illegal religious event” faces hefty fines of between 20,000 and 200,000 yuan (£2,280; $3,000; €2,660 - £22,845; $30,000; €26,640). In the port city Guangzhou, authorities are operating a pilot scheme with cash rewards of up to 10,000 yuan (£1,130; $1,500; €1,320) given to anyone who informs on church activity in their neighbourhood.
In Xinjiang, north-west China, it is nearly impossible for Uighur Christians, especially if they are isolated, to access Scripture in their own language. Only a small number of print copies of the Bible are available to the Uighurs, the vast majority of whom are Muslim and already heavily oppressed by the government. A new initiative is bridging the gap by making digital New Testaments and other Scripture in Uighur available online. Many Uighur people are now accessing the Gospel in text and audio formats.
In Buddhist dominated Tibet, under the spiritual leadership of the 83-year-old Dalai Lama, there is a growing number of Tibetans turning to Christ. Buddhism has been heavily repressed by the Chinese government and humanism is promoted. But at present limited Christian literature is available in Tibetan languages.
From Barnabas Fund contacts