By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)– An evangelical church in China says it has received back a cross and other items that were confiscated by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In published remarks, the Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church in Sichuan Province said unidentified individuals “mysteriously returned” them on April 9.
Advocacy group ChinaAid, which is in close contact with the church, told BosNewsLife that a road-sweeping Christian obtained the items.
“Sister Zhang performed her duty sweeping the road in Pidu District when a yellow car stopped a few yards away from her. She paused to watch two people remove several items from the car and leave them on the side of the road,” the group said.
“Thinking the car belonged to her company, Sister Zhang walked over to help. The driver of the car quickly drove away, however, before she could communicate with him or his passengers.”
When “Sister Zhang examined the scene and found a familiar-looking cross, an offering box, and a box of church choir robes. She sent pictures of the items to Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church’s (ERCC) [online] chat group. Members confirmed that the properties belonged to the church’s Linxishu Evangelical Center.”
CHURCH CHOIR ROBES
Footage seen by BosNewsLife included a box of church choir robes, a cross, and an offering box Sister Zhang found on the roadside. Chengdu officials had confiscated many of the church’s belongings during their “massive crackdown” on house churches on December 9, 2018, Christians said.
“Although CCP officials had returned some bookshelves, several chairs, and tables to the church in October 2020, they explicitly maintained that they would not return anything with a cross on it,” ChinaAid explained. “Authorities had planned to transport these items from Jinniu District to Pidu District and dispose them there.”
Under China’s Communist President Xi Jinping crosses have been removed from churches in several areas.
In a statement distributed by ChinaAid, Chengdu Church members thanked God for what they view as a miracle. “Our amazing God turned the officials’ scheme into a blessing. He returned the items the CCP had illegally confiscated to God’s home on Earth: Early Rain Covenant Church.”
ChinaAid said it reminded them to Bible verse Psalm 33:10: “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.”
Communist authorities have expressed concern about the spread of Christianity in China that they deem as a threat to the Communist system. Officials suggest there are as many as 130 million devoted Christians in the country of 1.4 billion people.