Report: ‘China Seeks To Erase Churches’
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BEIJING (Worthy News) – China has launched an effort to “erase” all churches and last year saw an increase in the persecution of Christians in the Communist-run nation, according to a new report obtained by Worthy News.
ChinaAid, a well-informed advocacy group supporting Christians in China, suggested that Chinese people are increasingly forced to worship Chinese President Xi Jinping. It recorded escalating “persecutions against Christian churches and Christians in mainland China” in 2022.
ChinaAid said in its annual report that a crackdown by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made “churches and Christians increasingly afraid of exposing their lived persecution experiences to the outside world.”
ChinaAid’s president and founder, Bob Fu, said that the “CCP implemented various strategies against Christians in 2022, such as new measures against religious content online.
Additionally, he noted that Chinese authorities had used the “infamous zero-COVID policy” linked to the COVID-19 pandemic to limit “or eliminate” Christian gatherings.
Fu also noted that “the Chinese government” using “charges of fraud” financially “suffocated the house church movement.”
He added: “We are gravely concerned about how the Communist regime also treats the state-sanctioned church. Previously, they asked for sole allegiance to the Communist Party. But since the 20th National Party Congress [late last year], they shifted their emphasis to aligning with [President] Xi Jinping.”
Fu said that “Their goal is not only to curate a ‘socialist-friendly’ church; they hope to erase it.”
Surveillance in China is among the most oppressive and sophisticated in the world, and Christian leaders have faced imprisonment or, in a small number of cases, abduction.
Churches were closed, and Christmas celebrations were banned in several schools and
cities across China, Worthy News monitored.
Bibles, sales of which were always controlled in China, are no longer available for purchase online, a loophole that had existed for years, well-informed sources say.
Fu, a former Chinese church leader forced to flee China, said the “international community needs to know about these trends and developments as China continues to rise on the global stage.”
His comments come amid mounting East-West tensions over the future direction of China and its growing military.
Church observers say China experienced an explosion in the number of devoted Christians despite the reported crackdown.
The government has grown wary of Christianity, which it views as a threat to the Communist ideology and power base, as several groups also have links with Western countries.
There are at least nearly 100 million Christians in China living among 1,4 billion people, according to church group estimates. Some, including Communist officials, reportedly suggested it could be as high as 130 million.
Beijing is also concerned about Islam. In Xinjiang province, a surveillance and internment system has been built for Muslim minorities, notably the Uighurs, with many being mistreated in camps, rights groups say.
President Xi has denied wrongdoing but warned that the country should guard against “infiltration” through religion and “extremist ideology.”
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