Underground Churches in China(No missionaries & Bible) – AIWA! NO!
- Church officials say authorities are ordering the removal of signs of faith
- Churches beginning to look more like “culture clubs”
- Vatican and China reach a deal on the appointment of bishops
The crosses are said to often be replaced with objects such as the Chinese flag and photos of Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Communist Party leader Mao Zedong.
In one video posted on Twitter earlier this month, fire is seen engulfing the cross at the Chinese Christian Church in Xinxiang city, in the country’s central Henan province
The rubble is all that remains of what was once a flourishing church in central China’s Henan province. In January scores of police and officials from the state, armed with saws, smashed and torched it into smithereens.
Dozens of Churches like these have been attacked and destroyed as part of a crackdown on religion by Chinese authorities and The Communist Party.
It is was of the most systematic suppression of religion in China since religious freedom was enacted into law in 1982. Authorities also seize bibles and other religious literature; in one small town for example; Christians have been asked to replace portraits of Jesus with those of Chinese President Xi Jiping. Those who resist pay dearly.
Earlier this year after pastor Jin Mingri refused officials’ request to install surveillance cameras in his church house. Soon after police questioned and sanctioned every member of the 1, 500 strong congregants.
“It is probably the biggest incident of government exerting pressure and control on Church Houses in the last ten years and still ongoing,” Pastor Jin Mingri, House Church pastor.
The American based non-profit ChinaAid says government pressure is forcing many pastors and their families to flee the country, become religious refugees. ChinaAid’s pastor Bob Fu observes; “A massive new wave of religious persecution has been happening in China for a very long time. I’m talking about hundreds of thousands of churches either shut down or destroyed. Pastors are being arrested, prayer meetings raided or even sentenced to ten or more years in prison.
The crackdown on Christians in China is part of a wider and far-reaching effort by the government to discourage religious freedom in the country.
China’s communist party has for years been wary of Christianity because of its alignment to western democracies, political values and way of life.
“The leadership views these congregations as dry tinder that could spark discontent is certain scenarios; and they think that foreign forces, the US, the missionaries and others would like to spark up this tinder, ” Andrew Nathan, Columbia University.
Henan province has emerged as the epicentre of religious persecution and intolerance in China. Hundreds of house churches have been shut down, some members detained by police. Congregants of these churches have been forced to morph into smaller, hard to identify groups of fellowships.
In March this year, 31 ‘illegal‘ Church Houses were shut down, religious literature seized and members taken into custody.
Xu Shijuan, 63, ran Seventh Day Adventist Church House but was closed in March.
She says: “We do nothing wrong but pray for China and its people – for peace and prosperity.”
- supports Chinese Christians and their families who have experienced persecution from the Chinese government.
- exposes the systematic persecution, harassment, torture and imprisonment of Chinese Christians and human rights lawyers in China
- provides leadership and rule of law training for Christian and church leaders in China to defend their rights under both Chinese constitutional law and international law.
Bob is one of the leading voices in the world for persecuted faith communities in China.