China is fast becoming one of the nations where Christians are facing the highest and all manner of persecution of faith.
There has been several crackdowns of Churches and arrest of members or pastors of churches within the nation.
The government is now coming out big to enforce a law that says children and youth cannot get converted until they are 18 years old.
According to Mission Network News, in the effect of this law, several churches stopped their Sunday school classes for children.
“One of the rules that have always been in their law is that you cannot proselytize or you cannot convert somebody under the age of 18,” Erik Burklin of China Partner told Mission Network News.
Previously, he said, parents “were having their children come to church and many churches started what we would call Sunday School classes.”
“They would use that time to teach children Bible verses and teach them Christian songs and so forth,” Burklin said.
Now, though, many churches “have been notified” by China’s “Religious Affairs Bureau” that “you can no longer conduct Sunday School classes in your churches,” he said.
“They even put signage up in the entrance of some churches to indicate that,” Burklin said
This means China Partner’s YouthServe ministry – aimed at teaching church leaders how to conduct ministry for teens ages 13 to 18 – is “problematic,” Mission Network News reported.
Burklin explained that pastors made it known to him by saying “Please, we can no longer invite you to come and do these youth ministry trainings for us because we need to adhere to this new enforcement of this law.”
According the Mission Network News, the China Partner has discontinued the YouthServe initiative.
Churches in China, Burklin said, must be creative if they are to reach children and teens with the gospel.
“One of the ways that we have learned also that we can reach that age group is through the parents,” Burklin said. “As we’ve started these marriage retreats and couples’ counseling sessions, [we’ve noticed that] many of these young couples have teenagers in their home.”