As China continues its restrictive grip on Christian churches, believers are feeling the pinch. Reverend Song Yongsheng, a pastor of a church in China’s Henan province, committed suicide earlier this month when discussions with the government over his church’s freedom resulted in “a failure.”
“I wanted to work with the government, but it was a failure,” Song wrote in his suicide note as reported by AsiaNews. “I want to be the first martyr of this terrible situation.”
Song was the chairman of Shangqui’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the president of the city’s China Christian Council (CCC), according to Faithwire. These organizations, established by the government, control the state-approved churches in the country. All churches must be registered to the Religious Affairs Bureau, which ensures that communist ideals are taught from the pulpit and the hymnal.
The pastor, who threw himself off of a building, hoped that his martyrdom would expose the Chinese regime’s abuses, as reported by ChinaAid, a nonprofit fighting for religious freedom in China.
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Source: Christian Headlines