News Articles

SBC DIGEST: ERLC condemns Chinese Communist Party; GuideStone aids Georgia pastors

EXPLAINER: ERLC condemns CCP at the U.N. Human Rights Council

By ERLC Staff

NASHVILLE (BP) – During the current 45th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the ERLC advocated for the religious freedom of children in China. The ERLC joined the Jubilee Campaign and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in issuing a written statement to the UNHRC. The joint statement condemns the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its continued religious persecution of children in China.

How is China persecuting children?

Over the last decade, China has increased its persecution of religious minorities. In its efforts to “sinicize” religious belief, that is, subjugate religious belief to the demands of the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese government is attempting to erode independent practice of religion altogether. Sadly, children in China are not immune to such persecution.

Since releasing its Regulation on Religious Affairs in 2017, China has escalated its suppression of the religious liberty of Chinese children. Following the CCP’s Regulations on Religious Affairs, Chinese government officials have prohibited minors from attending any “religious-based activities.” They have enforced this by forcing children away from religious activities and interrogating them for holding religious beliefs. Government authorities are also confiscating Bibles and religious literature.

Two years ago, the CCP closed kindergartens because they were founded and operated by churches. In 2019, Chinese authorities stormed a Catholic mass in Zhengzhou and forced out all of the children. Police monitored the church for weeks to ensure no children, including infants, attended mass. Chinese police also entered a Guangdong province house church camp last summer and arrested the preacher. The police interrogated the church members and registered the names of all children in attendance.

Last August, the Xiaodian District Civil Affairs Bureau raided the Bethany Home for Children with Disabilities and sent the children away to state-run orphanages. The Home, founded by a Catholic nun, was the only home the children had known.

In addition to these heinous actions, the CCP continues to persecute the Uyghur people, separating Uyghur children from their families and placing them in state institutions.

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Don’t neglect your financial needs, Georgia pastors encouraged

By Roy Hayhurst

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (BP) – While acknowledging no minister of the Gospel ever truly retires from service to the Lord, every pastor should consider how to prepare for his vocational retirement and the ministry God may have in his latter years.

Starting with the goal in mind – whether it’s more time with family, travel, ministry or a combination of those – and working backward to establish goals is important, said Shawn Dorrough, a senior retirement relationship manager with GuideStone.

Dorrough presented this message to 100 Georgia pastors and their wives participating in a retreat sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board Oct. 16-18 on St. Simons Island. The retreat, designed to help pastors “refuel, relax, refresh” included worship, preaching and encouragement.

“When it comes to confidence in having a comfortable retirement, only 23 percent of workers are very confident they are saving enough, and 35 percent of retirees are very confident – we can improve those statistics if we focus on planning for our retirement early in our careers,” Dorrough said. “As a general rule of thumb, you should have at least 8 to 10 times your annual income saved by the time you retire, but your own circumstances may dictate more or less.”

Dorrough spends most of his week in Georgia serving GuideStone participants in the state. He said he welcomed the opportunity to get to know the pastors and their wives at the meeting.

Read the full story here.

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