China (MNN) — What if going to college meant you had to stop going to church? That’s part of the latest persecution trend in China. Todd Nettleton, the spokesman for The Voice of the Martyrs USA, says Communist officials are targeting Christian kids.
“I [spoke] earlier this week with one of my coworkers who has been involved in China for decades … he talked about how children are being used against their Christian parents, and that’s happening in several different ways,” Nettleton says.
Officials ask younger children very specific questions about their parents’ church activity. Plus, authorities pressure Christian parents regarding their older children’s opportunities.
“Children are being used, essentially, as spies against their parents. On the other end of the spectrum, parents who attend church are threatened with their children’s education,” he continues.
“[Officials tell parents,] ‘Do you want your children to attend university in China? You must stop being involved in the Church.’”
Unfortunately, homeschooling is not an option. “The government is systematically trying to close off any other avenues to educate your children. They want them in the atheistic Communist Party schools,” Nettleton says.
“A Christian family chose to homeschool their three children; the government is against that, too. They have raided their home; they have taken some of their materials; they’ve actually accused them of terrorism for homeschooling their children.”
Find your place in the story
The Voice of the Martyrs USA extends spiritual encouragement and tangible support to persecuted believers throughout China. Here’s how you can help.
“There are very practical ways that we can help through giving, but it all starts as we understand the fellowship of the body of Christ and we choose to pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters,” Nettleton says.
Ask the Lord to strengthen and encourage Christian families in China. Pray that God will protect Christian children who are forbidden to attend Sunday school.
“Just as we in the Church are concerned with the next generation, with raising up young people who are ready to stand in their faith, the Communist Party is concerned about the next generation as well,” Nettleton says.
“Will they be good communists? Or will they be a threat to the control of the Communist Party?”