(International Christian Concern) – A new respiratory virus with origins in the Chinese city of Wuhan has now infected 8,200 people across the world and has claimed nearly 200 lives.
The outbreak of the coronavirus, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms, prompted Chinese authorities to quarantine several major cities. The usual lunar new year holidays, which typically last no more than 10 days long, have also been tentatively extended to mid-February to prevent the disease from spreading further.
In this time of desperation and fear, China’s Christian community, which has suffered an intensified crackdown by the government in recent years, has stepped up to fill in the gap left unattended by the incompetent authorities.
A Chinese Christian Twitter user shared on Jan. 27, “Some overseas Christians shipped supplies designated to serve local hospitals through local churches, with the intention to ask them to pass on to the hospitals. Yet the supplies were confiscated, and the Christian who received the shipment was invited to ‘have tea’ with the police (which is a common practice employed to intimidate and threaten citizens).”