Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

Chinese Christian church lands in Texas after fleeing persecution

Members of the Mayflower church going to court in Thailand. Associated Press/Photo by Sakchai Lalit

Chinese Christian church lands in Texas after fleeing persecution

Members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church, also known as the Mayflower church, arrived in Texas this weekend after fleeing China years ago. The church members landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Friday evening. Bob Fu, the founder of China Aid, called the trip “truly a Good Friday,” and noted that barely a week ago, church members were in a Thai jail worrying about being deported to China. After failing to get asylum in South Korea, the 63-member congregation went to Thailand in 2022. Their tourist visas ran out, and church members hid in Thailand until immigration authorities raided their hotel. They plan to resettle in Tyler, Texas, with the help of area churches and nonprofit groups.

Why did they flee China? In China, authorities pressured church members’ landlords to evict the house church and Christian school. They had to move multiple times, and police would often disrupt their meetings. In 2018, China implemented more religious regulations, insisting the pastor shut down the school and church and cut off ties to the Western church. Members said the Chinese government continued to track and harass them even after they left the mainland. 

Dig deeper: Read Erica Kwong’s article in World Tour on China possibly targeting dissidents abroad.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...