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Nine Significant Features of the Chinese House Church

God is doing something amazing in China.

With the special permission of the publisher, presents Chapter 20 from the book by Eugene Bach and Brother Zhu, The Underground Church.

“[T]he house churches of China are growing at a phenomenal rate. Never in the history of the world have so many people in such a short time left one belief system for another without a hostile revolution. Lives in China are being transformed daily by the gospel of Jesus Christ and the display of His miraculous power” (from the back cover).


The Underground Church by Eugene Bach and Brother Zhu.

In this book, we have explored the history of the underground House Church, surveyed the main networks within the movement, and identified various elements that have helped to propel its growth. We have read personal testimonies of Chinese believers and looked at some of their experiences and trials, all of which have helped to bring their history to life. Through these examples, we can better understand concepts and situations pertaining to the Chinese church that are otherwise completely foreign to outsiders.

As discussed in previous chapters, the last few decades of Chinese church history were directed largely by the great work of God flowing out of the Nanyang region in Henan—through the networks of Peter Xu, Tanghe, Fangcheng, and others. A foreign visitor to that area would most likely look around and immediately wonder why God would choose such a place to pour out His grace. In many ways, Nanyang is about ten years behind the rest of China. It does not contain any notable foreign communities, and any foreigner visiting there is stared at and sometimes pointed out by local children who shout, “Laowai!” (“old foreigner”). One House Church worker from the Five Brothers Network described Nanyang in this way: “There are four areas of unrest for the Chinese government: Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, and Nanyang.” It is hard to imagine that this county has had such an impact on the entire world.

Those Chinese who were dying from disease and starvation had no one to turn to for help. The sick had no places to go for treatment. Many of them looked to Jesus as a last resort and found mercy, rest, and supernatural healing through God’s power.

When Christians in other nations and cultures learn the mysteries of the Chinese House Church, it can help them to reflect on their own relationships with Jesus Christ. The history and testimonies of the underground Chinese believers are encouraging, because they show us what God can do in a country that declares war on His people, as the Chinese government has done. Even though China tried to eradicate the Christians, Jesus never left them. He never abandoned the Chinese people and is actually using them today in amazing ways to fulfill the Great Commission.

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Category: Church History, Spring 2018

About the Author: Eugene Bach is a pseudonym for a member of the Chinese underground church who does not wish to be identified. He was trained in U.S. military special operations and served two tours in the Persian Gulf and Asia–Pacific region, serving primarily as a member of a rapid response team focusing on targeted threat elimination, counterterrorism, and security. He has been working with the underground church in China for about twenty years, helping them to establish forward mission bases in closed countries around the world, including Iraq and Syria. Eugene leads the Chinese mission movement called Back to Jerusalem, which provides essential support for Chinese missionaries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He is the author or co-author of I Stand with Christ: The Courageous Life of a Chinese Christian (2015), The Underground Church (2014), Leaving Buddha: A Tibetan Monk's Encounter With the Living God (2019), Jesus In Iran (2015), and other books about the underground church in places like China, North Korea, and Iran.

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