WUHAN – Americans have become aware of Wuhan, China because it appears to be the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus. Wuhan is also making headlines as one of the regions where the police have already begun implementing the Administrative Measures for Religious Groups slated to become law throughout the country effective February 1, 2020.
“The “Administrative Measures for Religious Groups” has a total of six chapters and forty-one articles, which stipulate the organization of religious groups, the functions of religious groups, and supervision and management. The Measures make it clear that the religious affairs department of the people’s government is the business unit in charge of religious groups and should perform the functions of guiding and supervising the management of religious groups.”
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will effectively wield control of all religious organizations and their right (or not) to organized worship.
Police in Wuhan “stormed” the funeral of a professing Christian woman under the pretense that church officials are prohibited “from using religion to intervene in citizens’ weddings and funerals or other activities in their lives.”
The daughter of the deceased was praying when the police arrived. They arrested her and held her in custody for two days until her mother’s funeral and burial were completed by civil authorities.
The secular CCP has been forcing the closure of churches, Sinicizing the Scriptures, removing crosses, banning Bibles, and surveilling Christians for years. February 1, 2020 could become another day that lives in infamy after which followers of Jesus Christ will begin to feel significantly increased pressure by the governing party to abandon their faith.
The Wuhan funeral is not the only one that has already been interrupted while in progress or prevented entirely in advance.
One mourner told reporters that the family decided not to hold a funeral service for their father under the threat of arrest and imprisonment. They were overcome with the fear of the possible consequences. Explaining that his father had been a believer for many years, he opined that “He is persecuted even after death.”
One municipal government in Zhejiang has added an ordinance entitled “Regulations on Centralized Funeral Arrangement” that reinforces the national regulations.
“Clerical personnel are not allowed to participate in funerals . . . No more than ten family members of the deceased are allowed to read scriptures or sing hymns in a low voice.”
The purpose of the new rule, as stated within its content, is to “get rid of bad funeral customs and establish a scientific, civilized, and economical way of funerals.”
Our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ need our persistent prayers more than ever. Beginning February1, 2020, the new rules demand that:
“Religious organizations must adhere to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, observe the constitution, laws, regulations, ordinances, and policies, adhere to the principle of independence and self-government, adhere to the directives on religions in China, implementing the values of socialism.” – Article 15
“Religious organizations must spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as national laws, regulations, rules to religious personnel and religious citizens, educating religious personnel and religious citizens to support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, supporting the socialist system, adhering to and following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” – Article 17
To read more news on China on Missions Box, go here.
- Bitter Winter, Christians Not Allowed to Hold Religious Funerals
- Christian Daily, ‘Persecuted even after death’: China bans Christians from holding religious funerals
- Sing Tao News Corporation, “Administrative Measures for Religious Groups” promulgated, effective February 1, 2020
- Wikimedia Commons, Charlie Fong [Public domain]