Deserted streets in the quarantined city of Wuhan (SISTEMA 12)

Christians at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak are standing firm in their faith.

The Root and Foot Christian Church (RFCC), a megachurch in Wuhan, China, has vowed to continue its ministry despite the draconian measures introduced to tackle the disease.

According to Faithwire, when thousands of people fled the city before the lockdown was imposed, Pastor Huang Lei decided to stay and look after those left behind. His church has organised special prayer groups and offers practical assistance for those in need.

Lei also hopes that this difficult time will open hearts to the Gospel. In a webinar he said: “The Wuhan Pneumonia (COVID-19) is a rarely seen disaster in human history, yet everything presents an opportunity to glorify God.”

But Christians in the city of 11 million, all living in quarantine, are also asking for prayer. Barnabas Fund reports that all churches are unable to meet and pastors cannot visit people in person, so ministries are continuing online. People are only allowed out of their homes for food once every two days, and there is a shortage of masks and medical staff.

Meanwhile, in the USA, Vice President Mike Pence has been mocked for praying against the virus. Social media photos show the committed Christian, who is leading the national response to the pandemic, leading his government team in prayer.

Critics, including Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, have vilified Pence for “praying away” the virus, whereas in fact he was praying for guidance to help tackle the crisis – while also planning and taking medical advice.

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