“For China’s Christians, these are desperate times.”
That was a comment made by U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence in October 2018 in a speech where he described the Chinese Communist Party as “avowedly atheist.”
Perspective Magazine, which covers U.S. foreign policy from a Christian perspective observed that “in 2018, China’s religious repression has reached ‘a sustained intensity not seen since the Cultural Revolution.'”
U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, described Christians in China as facing “an intense, new, government crackdown . . . which includes heinous actions like closing churches, burning Bibles, and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith.”
Prior to Christmas, Chinese police raided a service of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Szechuan, detaining the pastor, his wife, and 100 members.
Here in the ‘contentment capital of the world,’ Christians seem to be barely aware of the level of repression and persecution that exists under a government that absolutely denies the existence of God and that has an official policy of atheism.
Because of the official policy of atheism, Christians are not the only people being repressed.
Over the last weekend of 2018, more than 100 riot police stormed three mosques in the province of Yunnan and forcibly ejected the Muslim worshippers because “they were engaged in illegal religious activities.”
Radio Free Asia said, “It seems as if this government is determined to persecute any kind of religious activity. The atmosphere is similar to the Red Terror, where there [was] no freedom of speech.”
The mosques are now slated for demolition because “the buildings were illegal religious venues” even though the mosques had filed all the paperwork required for approval by the authorities. However, the government never officially approved the petitions.
One observer reported that,
They were already flying the national red flag in the mosque, and Communist Party slogans, but those things didn’t protect them. None of the mosques . . . had presented any kind of political challenge to the authorities. It was simply because they held their prayers and activities outside the government system [for the endorsement of religious activities], just like the [Protestant] house churches. In the government’s … eyes, they were a threat to both party and state, so they had to be violently suppressed.
Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities have detained a large number of Muslims in ‘re-education camps.’ Estimates range from 800,000 to more than two million detainees being held indefinitely. One scholar has estimated that more than 10% of the adult Muslim population of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is being held in the overcrowded camps where they are subjected to political indoctrination, poor diets, abusive treatment, and unhygienic conditions.
The situation in China clearly illustrates what Scripture says in Ephesians 6:12.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].
Let us pray that the Lord will demonstrate the power of His might as believers suffer persecution for their faith.
Let us pray that the Lord will use the faith of persecuted Christians to attract Muslims and other minorities to Jesus Christ where they, too, will discover the peace that passes all understanding.
To read more news on China on Missions Box, go here.
- South China Morning Post, An ‘atheist’ empire? Trump aides rally evangelicals in China fight
- Radio Free Asia, Dozens Detained As Muslims Resist Mosque Closures in China’s Yunnan
- One News Now, China closes doors of largest underground churches
- The Christian Post, Christian, Jewish leaders decry ‘heart-sinking’ religious persecution in a letter to Chinese President Xi
- DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons