On January 22, Beijing Christian Haidian Church issued a notice to cancel activities for the Chinese New Year's Eve, the Spring Festival on the evening of January 24 (Friday) and the morning of January 25 (Saturday). Meanwhile, the Sunday Service on January 26 will also be suspended.
The reason for the cancellation was apparently the growing epidemic of the new coronavirus. At 10 a.m. on January 23, the city of Wuhan, the source of the epidemic, was closed; buses and subways in the city were suspended, and the railway station and airport were temporarily closed. Cases have been reported in 25 provinces, and have spread to the United States, Thailand, Japan and so on.
Haidian Church was originally scheduled to invite some believers to the church on the evening of January 24th (New Year's Eve) to join in bidding farewell to the passing year, eat dumplings together, and hold a Spring Festival thanksgiving praise party in the morning of the 25th (Spring Festival).
For the regular Sunday Service, Haidian Church stated that disinfection and temperature inspection work would be done in advance. And everyone is called upon to pray for this epidemic.
The Jiangxi Christian Council &Three-Self Patriotic Movement (CC&TSPM) issued an emergency notice on the 23rd, announcing that Christian gatherings in the province would be immediately suspended.
Hangzhou Chongyi Church and Sicheng Church have also issued notices to cancel gatherings during the Spring Festival.
On January 23, 2020, Zhejiang Longgang CC&TSPM and Cangnan CC&TSPM issued a notice on cautious prevention of "pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus", with a special reminder ("those who come home from Wuhan for the Spring Festival are advised not to come to church to attend any gathering"), and urged people who come to church for gatherings to bring their own face masks.
In addition to suspending the gatherings and reminding people to take safety precautions, several churches have issued messages calling for prayers for the epidemic.
Below is the prayer:
Let's pray for the new coronavirus epidemic,
Lord, please contain the spread of disasters,
Lord, please keep the medical staff safe from infection,
Lord, please help the government and medical system to be able to deal with the epidemic,
Lord, please help the infected patients recover quickly,
Lord, please help the people take protective measures, and be alert without panicking,
Lord, we pray that more Christians will not only pray for this epidemic, but also lead more people to Jesus.
Our God, the ruler of all things, please give salvation and healing so that the world may experience true peace in Christ.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!
- Translated by Sophia Chen