Prayer and the Holy Spirit are moving protestors in China to stand up against the Communist regime, according to the CEO of Open Doors in the UK and Ireland.
Speaking to Premier, as the clampdown against anti-lockdown protestors continues in China, Henrietta Blyth said she believes prayer is partly behind a groundswell of change:
"I think it's both encouraging and dangerous. I'm always encouraged when I see people coming out on the streets in solidarity with each other and saying what they need from the government. But we know that Xi Jinping and the Communist Party in China are very, very controlling. They're not going to like this. The danger is that they really massively try to increase control to stop the protesters."
Henrietta Blyth believes prayer is helping to give the protestors confidence:
"When the Berlin Wall came down there were all sorts of reasons but for years, the underground church had been growing in Eastern Europe.
"I think there was a groundswell of prayer and in the end things moved in a spiritual and national level at the same time."
China is at number 17 in the Open Doors' World Watch list of the most dangerous countries to be a Christian. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to go to church and place of worship were all closed during the pandemic. Some of the churches were forbidden from reopening and have just gradually disappeared, with some pastors being abducted. All Bibles and Christian apps have been banned.
Henrietta Blyth says this just increases the pressure on Christians:
"We've seen in the Christian world that control just growing and growing and people have been praying. We're seeing these protests in Iran as well, which is another country where the church is really persecuted. People are rising up, and we really need to pray that the Lord's will, will be done in this situation, because it could go either way.
"I would like to think that as Christians, we stand for justice. I think we need to pray for great maturity and wisdom for our brothers and sisters in China. This is a dangerous moment.
"We need to pray that the walls will come down. The walls that limit the spread of the gospel, the walls that limit the light of Christ across China, that the Lord will establish freedom and room for His church to grow. We need to pray that the Church will continue to grow there and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."
The anti-lockdown protests have spread to some of China's largest cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. They are an unprecedented challenge to President Xi Jinping, with some calling on him to resign.