The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord


Well-Known Member

Psalm 37:39-40​

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Incredible news this morning. I don't know how many here are aware of the so-called "Mayflower church", 63 members, who fled religious persecution from China in 2019. The first known church to do so as a group. Initially they fled to South Korea and later Thailand. Hoping to eventually land in the US, although they were told their hope of this was almost nothing.

About a week ago, they were sold out by a member of their own group and detained by Thailand authorities for overstaying their visas. The risk of them being deported, repatriated in China was very real. Many of them would be imprisoned, probably tortured upon their return.

But God saw their struggle and their distress, and he has delivered them. They left Thailand this morning and will be arriving in Texas sometime this evening. These people have never known anything but persecution, but now they are free.


Chinese Church Group Flies to the U.S. After Three Years in Self-Exile​

All 63 members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church are bound for Texas after departing Thailand by plane following weeklong detention​

A congregation of Chinese Christians seeking asylum abroad is traveling to the U.S. with plans to resettle permanently, capping a three-year quest for a new home outside China that was impeded by repeated legal setbacks and police detention.
The 63 members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church, who were detained in Thailand last week for visa violations, have departed the Southeast Asian country for the U.S., a spokeswoman for the United Nations’ refugee agency and a Thai police official told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
The spokeswoman declined to elaborate. The police official said the 63 congregants left Thailand on a number of flights that departed between late Thursday night and early Friday morning.
A U.S.-based activist who has been assisting the church said the congregants are bound for Dallas, and are likely to arrive by Friday evening. A Texas-based nonprofit that helps people flee religious persecution, Freedom Seekers International, has been working with the church to resettle its members in the city of Tyler, roughly 100 miles east of Dallas.
Thai police officials told the Journal earlier this week that they had been planning to deport the Shenzhen church members in the coming days, having detained them last week for overstaying their visas. Members of the church have been living in Thailand since last year, when they submitted applications to the U.N. refugee agency’s office in Bangkok to seek protection from what they described as religious persecution in China.

Though Chinese Christians have been known to flee abroad individually or in small groups, human-rights advocates say the Shenzhen church is the first known to have done so en masse. The congregation had long hoped to ultimately resettle in the U.S., but members said they were repeatedly told that the chances of them being able to do so as a group were minuscule.
American activists assisting the church say the U.S. government, particularly the State Department, played a significant role in liaising with the Thai government on deportation arrangements, to ensure that the congregation would be sent to the U.S., rather than China.
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the State Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Thai police officials earlier told the Journal that they were in discussions with U.S. officials and the U.N. refugee agency on the church members’ treatment, particularly where they would be sent when they are deported from Thailand.
China’s Foreign Ministry didn’t immediately respond to queries.

Under Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the Communist Party has tightened control over all aspects of society, from business to religion, and suppressed dissent with growing vigor—a trend that has pushed more ordinary Chinese to try to leave the country. The United Nations refugee agency counted more than 118,000 asylum seekers from China in 2021, the most recent year for which complete data is available, up from 15,362 in 2012, the year Mr. Xi took power.
The Shenzhen church’s meandering journey has encapsulated the curtailing of religious freedom in China under Mr. Xi. It started with an escape three years ago from the church’s former base in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen to the South Korean island of Jeju—spurred by what congregants described as intensifying government persecution.
Chinese authorities regard the Shenzhen church, an unregistered congregation founded in 2012, as illegal. Its members say they have faced government harassment for years, including threats to shut down an underground religious school they ran. The congregation voted to relocate from China, and many members left their homes in Shenzhen between late 2019 and early 2020.
Advertisement - Scroll to Continue

They headed first for Jeju, which allows visa-free entry for Chinese citizens, where some worked on the island’s farms as they pressed for asylum. After multiple rejections by South Korean authorities, the group decided to leave, citing a low likelihood of success and what they said was increasing harassment from Chinese officials.

Last year, the church’s founding pastor, Pan Yongguang, brought the congregation to Thailand, where they submitted applications in September asking the U.N. refugee agency for protection. According to Mr. Pan, the applications were still being processed when Thai immigration police raided their hotel in the coastal city of Pattaya in late March, detaining 63 congregants and two American activists who were visiting them.
An immigration court fined 30 adult members of the church the equivalent of $44 each for overstaying their visas, after which police transported the entire congregation—along with the two Americans—to a detention facility in the Thai capital of Bangkok. The two Americans—Deana Brown, founder of Freedom Seekers International, and a volunteer with the nonprofit—weren’t accused of wrongdoing and were later released, according to Mrs. Brown.
Mr. Pan said he suspects that Chinese authorities may have orchestrated the police raid, which took place after one congregant—since expelled—told the church earlier in March that he wished to return to China after speaking to Chinese security officials. Thai police officials say they detained the church members as part of routine operations meant to crack down on organized crime linked to illegal migrants.

During their detention, Mr. Pan and his followers said they worried they may be deported to China. At one point, when Thai authorities were busing the congregation to the Bangkok detention facility from Pattaya, some members heard local officials and workers saying that the church group may be sent home imminently, according to Mr. Pan and Mrs. Brown. These remarks alarmed the congregants, who forced the buses to stop while they sought assurances that they wouldn’t be sent back to China.

“Our women and children were very scared, I was also very worried,” Mr. Pan recounted. “I told the immigration official that I was very angry and that I couldn’t accept what they were doing,” he said. The congregation eventually agreed to resume the journey after a Thailand-based U.S. diplomat assured them that he would be waiting for them at the detention facility in Bangkok, Mr. Pan said.
Thailand has in the past repatriated Chinese nationals wanted by China, including members of the Uyghur ethnic group, a mostly Turkic Muslim minority that has faced religious and racial persecution in their traditional homeland of Xinjiang on China’s northwestern frontier. Thai authorities had also previously deported Chinese dissidents who were recognized as refugees by the U.N. and were awaiting resettlement in Canada.
Rights activists and U.S. politicians urged Thailand not to send the congregation back to China, citing the risk of persecution against the group. It couldn’t be determined what effect that advocacy had on the Thai government’s decision to allow the church to depart for the U.S.


Well-Known Member
I'm amazed the Biden regime would allow this. If it was a cult of devil worshippers Biden's team would welcome them in with open arms, but Christians, that seems a little amazing.

These would be real refugees from oppression, unlike virtually all of the ones that claim that status, assuming everything we are being told about them is true.

Praise God for rescuing them in any case. They will be most welcome here, and I'm glad God's people will finally have a safe place to worship Him.

Belle of Grace

Longing for Home
But God saw their struggle and their distress, and He has delivered them. They left Thailand this morning and will be arriving in Texas sometime this evening. These people have never known anything but persecution, but now they are free.
Such amazingly wonderful news on this Good Friday! God still reigns, and He still brings about miraculous conclusions to sordid, frightful conditions that could not have happened in any other way. So very happy for these dear saints :cheer