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Churches encouraged to display extra cross for persecuted Christians

A member of City Life International Church, Sheffield decided to fashion a cross with the name 'Living Stone Church' written on it in Chinese script.

Living Stone Church in the Guizhou Province of China has been increasingly targeted by authorities, with many of its 700 members being pressurised not to attend services and several of its pastors facing prison sentences.

City Life International Church member Elton Clough is encouraging other congregations to follow his lead and make crosses with the name of a persecuted church in an act of solidarity and prayer.

Speaking to Premier he said his cross represented the crosses that had been taken down from other churches: "You read all the time about the difficultly Christians are having all over the world. What struck me was that some churches in China were having their crosses forcibly removed and also buildings knocked down, and other house churches restricted and pastors being put in prison."

Mr Clough said it was one small thing that UK churches can do to stand with those in suffering and engage local communities with the plight of the persecuted.

He continued by quoting Hebrew 13:3: "Remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."

Following a review of persecuted Christians by the Foreign Office earlier this month, parliament have committed to accept in full the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro and protect freedom of religion or belief.

In response to this, Mr Clough said we need to continue to pray in faith for breakthrough, knowing that "with God all things are possible".

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