by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues its years-long program of suppressing Christianity in the country: Last month, authorities arrested and detained a Christian leader and shut down two churches, the Bitter Winter rights group reports.
According to Bitter Winter, Elder Zhu Longfei of Shunde’s Shengjia Church was detained by authorities after he refused to register his church with the state-approved and controlled Three-Self Church movement. The Three-Self Church is the only legal church denomination in China: its leaders are forced to incorporate CCP teachings and propaganda in their sermons.
Guangzhou’s Huajing Church and Meizhou’s New Hope Church were raided and sealed for the same reason last month, too, Bitter Winter reports.
“The authorities in China continue to try, based on indications coming from Xi Jinping himself at the 2021 National Conference on Work Related to Religious Affairs, to compel house churches to join the government-controlled Three-Self Church—or else,” Bitter Winter said in its report.
In a separate statement about the ongoing difficulties facing Christians in China, the Open Doors international Christian advocacy organization reports on its website: “Tightening restrictions and increasing surveillance are putting Christians in China under intensifying pressure, as the Communist Party seeks to limits all threats to its power…Many churches are being monitored and closed, no matter whether they are independent or belong to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. It remains illegal for under-18s to attend church.
Ruled by an authoritarian government that considers Christianity a Western-backed threat to its power and control, China ranks 16th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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