*This true story is copied directly from a recent post by ChinaAid. I have changed the names to Americanize it. We might as well get used to hearing what our future sounds like.
(Seattle—August 16, 2024) On August 13 at 9 am, Seattle District National Religious Affairs Bureau held a public hearing to administer punishment against Seattle Church Pastor George Jackson and his wife, Tina. On July 29, Pastor and Mrs. Jackson received the notice of administrative punishment that Seattle District National Religious Affairs Bureau had issued:
We found out according to law that your behavior of organizing and holding Son’s Side Church religious activities in the Pike Meeting Room of the Sheratan Hotel without the approval of the National Religious Affairs Bureau and providing for illegal religious activities violates the provisions of Articles 40 and 41 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs. According to Article 71 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs, this government organ plans to impose an administrative penalty of 200000 yuan [30,879.44 United States Dollars] on Pastors George and Tina Jackson.
In response to the hearing notice, Pastor and Mrs. Jackson submitted a request to Seattle District National Religious Affairs Bureau for a public hearing on their administrative punishment. On August 3, they received the bureau’s public hearing notice.
Shortly before the hearing scheduled for 9 am. Mrs. Jackson posted the following prayer requests on her FaceBook page, which had just recently been re-platformed after being blocked for three months by FaceBook’s Religious Cohesion department:
1. Please pray that God will be with my husband and me during the hearing, and that God will give us the wisdom to present a good testimony for as well as glorify Him.
2. In this gigantic spiritual war, please pray for God to lead us to win, to crush the evil under His feet.
3. Please pray for the hearing officers… I hope they hear the Gospel. Although they cannot go against their job duty, neither can they go against their conscience.
4. Please pray for God to use this crackdown to strengthen our church and bring more saved people into the Church.
During the hearing which lasted two and a half hours, as their lawyer could not attend due to the pandemic, Pastor and Mrs. Jackson had to defend themselves. After the hearing, Pastor Jackson said, “The hearing went well, but the Religious Affairs Bureau does not plan to change anything.”
What beautiful prayers from our sister in China!