Chinese Christians in Wuhan grapple with COVID-19 virus through repentance, exhortation

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Christians in Wuhan, China are attempting to grapple with the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which has forced believers to meet online due to government regulations forbidding physical meetings.

The number of deaths from the plague, which originated in Wuhan, rose to 1,900 this week, and the number of confirmed cases to 72,000, as the Chinese government released statistics that pointed to a 2.3% rate of death in those infected.

Lead pastor Huang Lei of Root & Fruit Christian Church in Wuhan said that in spite of "a hard rule by the government" that prevents his church from meeting together during the outbreak, "we can still draw near to our Lord God [because] we know that our God is still King who reigns over the flood."

At the beginning of February churches in Wuhan and around the world called for three days of fasting and prayer to seek repentance about the plague, which the White House recently doubted was as contained or innocuous as the Chinese government has portrayed.

"It is our way to cry to God to repent and ask God to stop this plague," Pastor Lei explained. "We ask God to help His people on earth; help us to survive, so with this prayer, I think the children of God in Wuhan got to closely connect with their brothers and sisters all over the world to encourage one another and care for each other."

Pastor Tan Songhua of Wuhan Fangjiaoshi Church wrote a letter exhorting Christians to face potential death as a way of sharing in the resurrection life of Christ, calling the coronavirus outbreak a severe "test of faith" but also an opportunity.

"So brothers and sisters, I encourage you to be strong in the love of Christ. If we experience death deeper in the plague and understand the gospel, we will experience the love of Christ more deeply and be closer to God," he wrote. "Like our Lord Jesus, who experienced cruel death by faith, but God raised him from the dead and set him to his right."

The Chinese Communist government of President Xi Jinping has closed almost 6,000 churches in recent years, forcing true Christianity all but underground, and though it is only 23rd on Open Doors USA's 2020 World Watch List, CEO David Curry has said that it is creating the "[technological] system of persecution for the future."