Christians living in China turn to God as the deadly Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread and take lives.
As of February 25, the World Health Organization reported that there are 77,780 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,666 deaths in China. The disease has already reached 33 countries, including Korea, Italy, and Canada.
Church in China is spreading like wildfire. —Andrew Boyd, Release International
A Zambian student living in Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, disclosed that he uses his faith to cope up with the Coronavirus scare and being in quarantine within the city.
In an interview with the French news website, RFI, Rennox Chisenga said, “Surprisingly, I’ve been calm. I don’t know why, but I just have this supernatural sense that I’m going to be all right.”
The 25-year-old student from Wuhan University added that his family are praying for his safety. “That actually makes me feel really at peace,” he said.
Chisenga is hopeful that a cure for COVID-19 will be developed and he will still pursue his education in China, which he treats as a second home.
Despite the quarantine, some Christians in Wuhan are preaching on the streets and distributing face masks in the city, reports Canadian-based Christian radio station, CHVN Radio. Crackdown on Christianity in the Asian country is intensifying and people’s religious rights are under scrutiny, but these didn’t hinder Christians from sharing the gospel to the few citizens who get out of their homes.
However, news from social media revealed that Chinese authorities have barred Christians from street preaching and distributing face masks, reports Release International.
Andrew Boyd of Release revealed that China issued a new regulation on February 1 prohibiting citizens from communicating with people outside China. This, in turn, makes it illegal for Christians to distribute face masks which came from overseas churches.
Since there’s a very high demand for face masks because of the virus, retailers are overpricing their face masks, making it difficult for poor citizens to afford protection. Chinese Christians pointed out the distribution of face masks is their way of providing service to the country. They argued that they are not enemies of the communist party and that they are good citizens.
Since the clampdown on Christianity, China has implemented a series of regulations to tighten its hold of the Church. “Church in China is spreading like wildfire,” Boyd noted. He added that China’s regulations “won’t prevent the spread of Christianity rather, it will encourage it.”