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CHINA: MASSIVE CRACKDOWN IN XINJIANG
by Elizabeth Kendal
|click on map to enlarge|
The regional government in Urumqi has published a list of banned activities which, according to those who spoke to RFA, is so detailed and specific that it could only have been drawn up with the aid of government infiltrators. 'Unauthorised editing, translation, publication, printing, reproduction, production, distribution, sale and dissemination of religious publications and audiovisual products' is prohibited. 'Missionary activities ... under the guise of business, tourism, lectures, overseas study, cultural exchange or donations to disaster relief or to fund studies or alleviate poverty and sickness' are also prohibited.
|Alimujiang Yimiti (CAA)|
There is absolutely no doubt that Islamic terror represents a serious and growing threat to China. The threat has escalated in recent years as Uyghur jihadists have moved from Pakistan's tribal regions to Syria, where they have been fighting mostly with al-Qaeda affiliates in Aleppo and Idlib, but also with Islamic State. Keen to counter the threat, Beijing has increased its support for and engagement with Damascus. Syrian-trained Uyghurs are also committing terror attacks further afield, e.g. at the Chinese embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (30 August 2016) and at a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey (31 December 2016). Released on 5 March, Issue 20 of the al-Qaeda-linked Turkistan Islamic Party's Arabic language magazine, Islamic Turkistan, urges jihadis worldwide to attack Chinese targets in their countries.
|10,000 troops rally in Urumqi (SCMP)|
|CPEC into Kashgar, Xinjiang|
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL:
* grant great wisdom to all Xinjiang's Christian leaders, so they will know what to do and how to respond at this tense and critical time. 'If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.' (James 1:5 ESV)
* bless Alimujiang Yimiti, his wife Gulineur and their two young children; may he preserve, protect and provide for them all. 'The Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.' (2 Thessalonians 3:3 ESV)
* awaken the authorities in Beijing and in Xinjiang to the fact that Christians are not the enemy and indeed that the Church is deeply patriotic -- always praying for China, eager to bless China.
* break the emotional, spiritual and material connections that exist between Xinjiang's Uyghur separatist and transnational jihadists who are looking for a door into China; may China's Uyghurs find peace, dignity, joy and liberty in Jesus Christ.
SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
CHINA: MASSIVE CRACKDOWN IN XINJIANG
Beijing has launched a massive anti-terror drive in its volatile north-western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and east Central Asia. It comes as the threat of Islamic terror escalates markedly following threats from al-Qaeda-linked Uyghurs (who have called for attacks on Chinese interests) and Uyghurs with Islamic State (who have threatened rivers of blood). Caught up in the crackdown are Christian groups not linked to state-approved churches. More than 80 believers have been arrested and interrogated. Some have also been detained for 15 days and fined. House church fellowships have either stopped meeting or have gone deep underground. Pray that the authorities will realise that, whilst the Islamic terror threat is real, Christians are not the enemy. Please pray for China and its Church in Xinjiang.
Elizabeth Kendal is an international religious liberty analyst and advocate. She serves as Director of Advocacy at Canberra-based Christian Faith and Freedom (CFF), and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.
She has authored two books: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and, After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016).