This game was originally called “Communist Church” credited to Jason Gross, but attitudes shift and it’s not just Christianity that is persecuted. Essentially it’s a game to put across what it feels like to have to meet in secret because of your religious beliefs.
Set up: Needs to be played at night, with ALL the lights off, so ideal for an all-night activity game. Also a great set up for a discussion starter. In the building, you are using for the game make sure all the doors to rooms are shut. Lock those rooms that youth are not allowed in, and leave the doors to rooms that they are allowed in shut but unlocked.
The Game: Take a flashlight (this represents the church) turn it on and hide it in a room in your building. The light should not be seen without REALLY looking for it. Players have to find the flashlight you’ve hidden. When they find they are not to touch the light but have to hide in that room, so no one knows they are there. It depends on the size of your group, but once a group of about 10 find the church the game is over.
The Catch: Have a few other players or youth leaders (this works best), be the hunters. Their job is to catch the kids and take them outside the building. The communists are only allowed in the hallways and cannot go inside rooms. If they tag or grab a youth, the youth must surrender and be escorted out. Once the youth are outside the building their job is to find a way back in. Which you have made difficult since you or another leader is constantly locking and unlocking doors, leaving 1 door unlocked at all times.
[Editors note: – for security reasons (and keeping the peace with the local neighbourhood) this is probably best played in more rural locations or the rules adapted to suit the needs of a more urban or city premises.]