by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The US-based ChinaAid persecution watchdog organization attests in a new report that China’s ruling Communist Party intensified its notorious harassment and mistreatment of Christians in the country last year, the Christian Post reports.
In its annual persecution report, ChinaAid noted that in the run-up to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 20th Party Congress in 2022, the government increased the number of evangelical house church leaders it criminally charged with “fraud.”
The fraud allegations pertain to leaders practicing the traditional collection of tithes and offerings from congregants, the Christian Post said.
According to the ChinaAid report, the CCP used its new “Measures for the Financial Management of Religious Activity Venues” legislation to fabricate the charges against pastors and leaders.
A number of house church pastors and elders were imprisoned, including Pastor Hao Zhiwei from Ezhou House Church in Hubei province, who was sentenced to eight years in jail, the ChinaAid report said. Elder Hao Ming and Elder Wu Jiannan of Qingcaodi Church in Sichuan currently face up to 10 years imprisonment in their case being heard at the Jinyang District Court, the report noted.
Moreover, ChinaAid said, the CCP further restricted the publishing of religious content online. In doing so, ChinaAid said, the Chinese Communist Party aimed to progress its goal of “removing Christianity from cyberspace.” The ChinaAid report said Chinese Christians had faced “unprecedented” online censorship since the implementation of the “Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information and Services” in 2022.
In apparent confirmation of the ChinaAid assessment, the US Open Doors advocacy organization also placed China 16th on its World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted- up one place from the year before.
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