Reportedly, the Christian Community in China is being attacked by Xi Jinping’s authorities and this is not something which has started recently. It has been going on for years at a stretch and everything is smartly being brushed under the carpet by the Chinese authorities.
As per reports, Chinese Christians are being persecuted by the authorities. A recent Forbes report hints at how, as told by Radio Free Asia in April, 2021, Chinese authorities are trying to make the Christians renounce their faith. Christians are often detained in secretive and mobile ‘transformation’ facilities to reach the desired results of renunciation.
As per the Radio Free Asia report, a Christian individual from the province of Sichuan said that he was held captive in a similar facility for nearly 10 months. The facility was run by the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, which was hand in glove with the State security police. He was held after a raid on his church back in 2018. As per the man, it was a mobile facility, which could be set up anywhere, even inside someone’s basement; and it was filled with staffers from different government departments.
The man claimed that the way Christians are treated in these facilities is similar to what happens with the Uyghur people in the concentration camps of Xinjiang. Christians in China have been complaining about how their churches are forcibly closed down, the ban of the sale of the Bible online, the arrests of priests and worshippers, the removal of religious signs and symbols like the cross. As per the ‘Annual World Watch’ list, dated 13 January 2021, of Open Doors, which is an international NGO talking about the persecution of Christians; for the first time in a decade, China is found to be holding one of the top 20 positions out of 50 countries which they assess and where Christians are persecuted the most.
As per the Open Doors report, thousands of churches in China have been damaged or closed. In some parts of the country, children aged below 18 years are not allowed to attend church. China is ranked 17th because of the increasing levels of harassment of Christians in the country. In May 2021, it was reported by various news outlets that the Chinese authorities have been removing Bible Apps and Christian WeChat public accounts, and Bibles in hard copy are no longer available for sale online.
According to a report of America Magazine, back in 2018 itself, children were barred from attending any Christian religious events or prayers. And this happened right in Henan, which is a Chinese province with deep Catholic roots and which is home to millions of Christians including nearly 3, 00, 000 Catholics. Children were also expelled from an Easter Mass, Church-run Kindergartens were closed down and crosses and churches were desecrated. A notice was circulated by the State-backed Henan Provincial Patriotic Catholic, back in April 2018, which stated that churches must stop the congregants from bringing their children to Mass and stop hosting retreats and training activities for children. It was mentioned that anyone who disobeyed these orders would be stripped of their position and the church would be closed down.
As per reports, experts of Christianity in China say that the Chinese Communist Party sees young people who become religious as a dangerous trend, especially in Henan where there has been a rapid increase in the same. According to the Chinese government, Christianity is nothing but a part of a concerted effort by the West to threaten China’s values.
In addition, thousands of Christians in rural China were told to take down displays of Jesus Christ, crosses, and Gospel passages from their homes as part of the government’s propaganda effort to ‘transform believers in religion into believers in the party’. As per Christianity Today’s report of November, 2017, Communist Party officials had personally visited Christians’ houses in the Yugan county of Jiangxi province. The people were asked to replace all the religious images and symbols with posters of President Xi Jin Ping. According to the South China Morning Post, more than 600 had removed Christian symbols from their living rooms and 453 had hung portraits of Xi.
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