You cannot close a church by closing it


You cannot close a church by closing in.

Mao Tse Tung tried it during his communist rule in China. He ruled as the chairman of the Communist Party in China from 1949 to 1976.

When he came into power in 1949, there were not more than 2,5 million Christians in China. By 1956 he said that he destroyed the church completely and that there are no Christians left in China.

When the “Bamboo Curtain” lifted at the beginning of the 1980s – there were more than 30 million Christians in China.

Here is another story of someone that tried to close the church. The well respected Arabian historian Al Maqrizi (1364–1442), recorded the following story about a Khalif named Abu Tamim Ma’ad al-Muizz li-Din Allah (Arabic: ‫ابو تميم معد المعزّ لدين الله‬‎ – reigning in Cairo from 953-975.  

He issued a decree to close all churches in the land and forbade the church bells to ring. Capital punishment threatened anyone who dared to open or congregate in a church. For some years the churches were closed, the gates got rusty and the pigeons took residence in the sanctuaries. Some of the faithful travelled across the desert seeking monasteries in the wilderness for corporate prayer and worship. The majority of the Egyptian Christians, could not afford travelling on foot in the ruthless desert heat by day and pitch-black darkness by night, so they were locked in at their homes on Sundays. 

After a few years the Khalif decided to see for himself how the Christians are crushed and silenced. In disguise, he walked in the streets of their quarters in Cairo. He could hear the sweet sounds of prayers, Bible readings and worship from every house he passed by. 

His reaction was another decree: “Open their churches and let them pray as they please. I thought I have closed the church in every street only to find out I opened a church in every house.”

Life comes in stories: use this link to subscribe to occasional stories via email:

About the author

Bennie Mostert
By Bennie Mostert