I Prayed have prayed
Lord, please protect the Chinese “Mayflower” church. We know You will provide for them. May they rest in You in this unsettling time. And, Lord, may eyes around the world see China’s persecution of Your people during the Winter Olympics. May the hearts of Chinese leaders be turned by You. Amen.

New reports suggest a Chinese “Mayflower” church is soon to face a critical moment before a democracy’s high court. Will those Christian asylum-seekers be welcomed or sent packing?

Members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church, a house church planted with the help of a U.S.-based denomination, fled their homeland in 2019 after years of surveillance and harassment by Chinese government authorities. Posing as tourists, 60 individuals — including dozens of children — successfully reached South Korea’s Jeju Island, and they have been there ever since.

The church and its pastor, Pan Yongguang, came under fire in China for refusing to be absorbed into the state-approved Three-Self Patriotic Movement church and for speaking up against an intensifying crackdown on Christians. Their school was also shut down, raising alarms for the church members.

Pastor Pan recently told Radio Free Asia (RFA), “Our church would educate our children about our religious beliefs, and the police would come along and force them to enroll in school so they could be brainwashed.”

“They didn’t want us to teach our children the Bible,” he added.

So despite language and health care concerns, the families left Shenzen — one of China’s special economic zone cities just north of Hong Kong — and made their way to Jeju. They soon became known as a “Mayflower” church due to their similarities to the Pilgrim community fleeing religious persecution in the 1600’s.

That history is, of course, a powerful part of our nation’s origin story. In it we see the importance of our first freedom — religious liberty — in the American experiment from its very foundations.

Sadly, this newer “Mayflower” group has not yet been received in the free world. Their asylum applications have been rejected by South Korea, and their time on Jeju may soon be up. While authorities are allowing the refugees to stay on the island during legal proceedings, RFA’s report on January 25 suggests the nation’s high court may be ready to take the case and their lawyer believes the chance that they will be rejected again is “quite high.

Observers think South Korea is wary of angering their powerful communist neighbor. And China clearly appears to be very much interested in this group, harassing their friends and family still in China and even trying to intimidate the refugees themselves through its diplomatic staff on Jeju.

Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, told RFA that only a fraction of a percent of such appeals from Chinese citizens have ever been granted by authorities in Seoul.

“South Korea is effectively being held hostage by the CCP,” Fu said

If Pastor Pan and his church are denied asylum, they will have a short window in which to leave Korea. The question may then turn to the United States. Fu indicated in an earlier release that several large American churches want to help these “Mayflower” Christians, and he has called on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to “do everything in his power to make sure these vulnerable religious minorities are not sent back into harm’s way.”

So far the U.S. has made no announcement.

As eyes around the globe soon focus on China for the the Winter Olympic Games, will they see the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities there? Will they embrace the cause of the “Mayflower” church?

How will you pray for the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church and believers throughout China?

Aaron Mercer is a Contributing Writer with two decades of experience in Washington, D.C.s public policy arena.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Melvin Westerman
February 2, 2022

For a fuller report see:
https://dotheword.org/2021/11/09/jeju-mayflower-church-denied-asylum-faces-potential-repatriation-to-china-and-persecution/
Also, plz contact your U.S. Congressman and request his/her staff contact the appropriate person in the Dept of State to take action on behalf of these 60 refugees. My experience has been going through your Rep gets State to do what needs to be done.

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Salem Zahn
February 2, 2022

Thank you Lord Jesus for hearing our cries as we intercede in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We cry out for these saints to be delivered from the persecution they face. Give them safe passage from the storm that rages. Shelter them from all harm. May the seeds of faith that they’ve planted be nourished and grow in abundance. Amen

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Roxanne Rice
February 1, 2022

As a lifelong Congregationalist, my spiritual ancestors came here on the Mayflower. So my heart reaches out to this brave little church.

Lord, wrap Your arms around these precious saints. Hide them in the secret place. Grant them the safety they need now, favor with the Korean court, and safe passage to their new country of refuge.

Keep them strong and faithful. In Jesus’ name.

6
Susan
February 1, 2022

Lord Jesus, we humbly ask that You protect ALL our Christian family, wherever they are. Cover them with safety above, around, below. Lead them with Your pillar of light, and make them invisible to the enemy. Work in the hearts and minds of those involved with the courts, to lead them to allow your servants to follow freedom, even so far as to work unexplainable miracles. We thank You, Almighty God, for Your mercy and grace, and always pray that YOUR Will be done, not our own, so that ONLY YOU receive the Glory!! In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

13
Graham
February 1, 2022

How can we contact these people. I was a teacher in China for 4 years . . . We have much to learn from them. Thanks

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    Mel PGM PA Westerman
    February 2, 2022

    Graham, beside prayer, the best thing you can do is to contact your US Congressman and request him/her to contact the appropriate person in the State Department to take action.

    2
Helen Saunders
February 1, 2022

Father God, we bind satan now and ask God to intervene to help fellow believers with in China and Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church. We know as believers that our Lord will never leave us or forsake us. We may go through trials and tribulations but our Lord is with us all the time.
Amen

10
Nancy Wilkens
February 1, 2022

Bless you and all involved in your commitment to prayer

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    Teresa Harris
    February 1, 2022

    Heavenly Father, we ask in the mighty Name of Jesus that an Open Door and safe passage for the Mayflower Church will become a reality in the coming days! We stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ as though we were struggling with them! We continue in prayer on their behalf in love. We thank you Lord for your power and your strength: mighty in battle! Mighty to save the Mayflower Church!!!

    14
Shelly
February 1, 2022

Please Lord God, give Blinken the insight and strength to allow them into the U.S. If anyone needed asylum from persecution, it’s them. Please let the U.S. allow them in and the churches that want to help them will be able to in Jesus’ name. Amen

14
Barbara Janicki
February 1, 2022

We should welcome these brothers and sisters into our country with open arms. We were founded by those fleeing religious persecution. If we can let two million plus unidentified, illegal aliens in with no vetting, and fly them all over the country – we should definitely provide asylum for this known group of persecuted Christians. I found it particularly chilling when Pastor Pan said China did not want their children taught the Bible and shut down their school, putting their children in China’s public schools to be indoctrinated. Sound familiar? Isn’t that what is happening here? Prayers for the safety of these brave people. May God protect and deliver them. http://www.mtothe5th.wordpress.com

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Mel PGM PA
February 1, 2022

I pray for Secretary Blinken, Lord open his eyes to the plight of these dear brothers and sisters and give him motivation to bring them to the U.S.

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