BEIJING – The prevailing stories on major media outlets about China are about tariffs and trade wars. But these stories may be far from the most important news about what is going on in China. Possibly, the biggest story in China is going largely unreported. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is continuing to increase its control over Christians. And they are using several tactics from subtle to strong-arm.
The CCP now requires local municipalities to monitor and submit daily counts of resident believers. While there is no evidence of any repercussions on individual Christians as a result of this new practice, the CCP has put the pressure on local officials to ensure that the counts are reported twice a day and that they are accurate.
The tactic threatens the enumerators who, after reporting someone, must then report their movements every day. A local official who wishes to remain anonymous indicated that the CCP fears that Christianity is growing too fast within the country and that it is a threat to the regime.
While it continues to remove crosses, demolish church buildings, dictate sermon content, and detain uncooperative house church leaders, the CCP has employed a new way to close churches. An approach that draws a lot less attention.
Party officials are offering local church leaders the opportunity to donate their churches to the government as “part of the central government’s campaign to clean up gang crime and eliminate evil.” Bitter Winter shared an example of how the government approached a local church in Shizimiao:
“We give you two choices. The first is that we give you 85,000 RMB (about $12,000) and take over the building. The second – your church will be demolished in seven days.”
Once the local leader signs the donation document, the CCP closes the church. As far as we know, none of the churches has yet to be compensated as promised.
Primary school children, beginning with kindergarteners, “are now being taught that belief in God is abnormal and that parents who are religious should not be trusted.”
Textbooks and classroom videos teach a straight-forward anti-Christian worldview. Teachers explain that, if the children’s parents believe in God, they don’t want their children. Reports out of some schools indicate that students are being taught to “supervise” their parents.
The CCP seems bent on controlling every aspect of every person’s life. That’s a daunting task for a country with a growing population already in excess of 1.4 billion people. But then, that is what totalitarian regimes are about. They attempt to control every aspect of everyone’s lives.
Some provinces have already begun strict ordinances that require citizens to register a virtual compendium of information about themselves, even including tools that they own.
Once registered, residents must secure the permission of local authorities before leaving their local area. Also, they must report, in advance, any out-of-town visitors whom they are expecting, including their length of stay. Visitors may not stay beyond the time allotted.
We who are free to do so must pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in the faith in China and in a growing number of other countries where the agenda of the world system is clearly set upon the elimination of the followers of Jesus Christ.
Pray for their patience, courage, and perseverance. Pray that they will honor the Lord our God in all that they do.
To read more news on China on Missions Box, go here.
- Christian Headlines, China Orders Towns to Count How Many Citizens ‘Believe in God’ and Then Monitor Them
- Christian Headlines, China’s Schools Teaching Children to ‘Hate God’ and Distrust Christian Parents, Report Says
- Bitter Winter, Pressure Surges on Local Governments to Suppress Believers
- Bitter Winter, “Give Your Church to the State, or We Demolish It”
- Bitter Winter, More Restrictions in Xinjiang: Visiting Friends and Family Strictly Controlled
- Worldometers, China Population (Live)