Talking with Pastor Peter via Skype this morning.
This morning I spoke with Pastor Peter Wang in China for over an hour about the events of the last week. The police came on four different occasions to his church, attempting to shut it down. On Friday morning 20 police officers came and took him away for interrogation.
On Sunday just as he was preparing to preach, police burst into the worship service, demanded that he stop preaching and ordered the people to disperse. Peter answered them in front of the congregation that the church would not disperse. The police said they would disperse the people but Peter said, “They will not listen to you. They will only listen to me as their pastor.” When the police led him out, the people stood and clapped and cheered for Pastor Peter and gave great glory to God. The police questioned him again, insisting that the church could no longer meet in its rented facilities. The police would not give him any explanation as to why they were harassing him except that the order had come from the “Big Boss,” a reference to some government official.
After two hours of interrogation, Peter was allowed to go home. He said he knows this trial has been sent by God to make the church stronger. He is very emphatic about that. He sees God’s hand in all that has happened.
They will have to find a new place to meet. That much is certain. They hope to get their deposit (a substantial sum of money) back from the landlord. So we need to pray about that. “The government thinks if they close down our meeting place, they have shut down the church. But they are wrong. They cannot shut down the church because it belongs to God.”
Peter seemed relaxed when I talked with him via Skype this morning. He knows things could get worse. But he also said, “My God is much bigger now.” And he wants that for the whole church. He told me that in his church there are many young people with college degrees and masters degrees. “We have a good knowledge of the Bible, but now we will have that faith in our hearts. Now we will experience God in a new way.»
Please pray for Peter, his wife and daughter, and for their church that that they would be protected in this time of persecution, that God would use this time to grow their faith and make them stronger in the Lord. Pray also for God to turn the heart of the “Big Boss” so that the harassment would end. We’re praying that God would get great glory to himself through all that has happened.
He summarized the last week in one powerful sentence.
“Now we know what Immanuel really means for God has been with us.»