Photo by TonySKTO
President Xi Jinping came to power in China late 2012. In this time, religious persecution has increased.
Per CNN, “Since President Xi Jinping came to power in late 2012, Freedom House said, the scale of religious oppression has increased at all levels of society, despite widespread resistance from believers of all stripes.”
A third of those who are part of religious groups in China face severe persecution including harassment from the authorities.
Fox News reports, “The report estimated that a third of all religious believers in China who belong to faith groups face ‘high’ to ‘very high’ levels of persecution ranging from bureaucratic harassment and economic exploitation to harsh prison terms and even deadly violence.”
Christianity has been held deeply with suspicion with its growth of Christianity after the Cultural Revolution.
The Hindustan Times explains, “Beijing has kept a wary eye on, and strictly regulated, Christianity since the CPC adopted a conciliatory approach to religion four decades ago. The growth of Christianity in China began at the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), a period when all religions were suppressed, often brutally.”
The Pope wants to have the power to ordain Chinese bishops. Many illegal Christians are criticizing this potential deal.
CNN states, “‘Jesus said one person cannot serve two gods, now the Vatican is willing to serve God and the Communist Party,’ he (Paul Dong) said.”
Tens of millions of Protestants have been affected by campaigns to remove the cross or to destroy their churches.
Per Fox News, “Freedom House found that the approximately 60 million to 80 million Protestants in China have been particularly affected by cross-removal and church-demolition campaigns, punishment of state-sanctioned leaders, and the arrest of human rights lawyers who take up Christians’ cases.”
It is difficult to get an accurate estimate of how many Christians there are in China, since the Communist Party only counts official state-sanctioned churches.
The Hindustan Times explains, “Independent estimates vary. A 2011 Pew survey said around 5% of China’s population in 2010 – or around 67 million – were Christians. It took into account those who are part of non-registered or ‘home’ churches that function informally out of sitting rooms, attics and garages.”
China Aid works to create awareness of pastors in China who are in jail for their faith in Jesus.
Per China Aid, “China Aid works closely with the international community to advocate for individual religious freedom and related human rights abuse cases and expose government sponsored persecution campaigns.”
Pray for a change of heart for the Chinese authorities. Pray for those who are persecuted to be bold. Pray that many would come to know Christ’s hope through them.