Tough days for Chinese Christians


#1

Local governments have shut down hundreds of ‘house churches’ in past few months, with gatherings raided and congregants interrogated about their faith
In March, about a dozen police officers and local officials suddenly showed up at the church on his property and made the frightened congregants disperse. They ordered that the cross, a painting of the Last Supper and Bible verse calligraphy be taken down. And they demanded that all services stop until each person along with the church itself was registered with the government, said the shopkeeper, Guo, who gave his last name only from fear of retribution.
In Zhengzhou, Henan’s capital, all that is left of one house church is shattered glass, tangled wires and torn hymnbooks, strewn among the rubble of a knocked-down wall. Pegged to another wall is a single wooden cross, still intact.
The church inside a commercial building had served about 100 believers for years. But in late January, nearly 60 officials from the local religion department and police station appeared without warning. Armed with electric saws, they demolished the church, confiscated Bibles and computers and held a handful of young worshippers – including a 14-year-old girl – at a police station for more than 10 hours, according to a church leader.
The crackdown on Christianity is part of a broader push by Xi to “Sinicise” all the nation’s religions by infusing them with “Chinese characteristics” such as loyalty to the Communist Party. Over the last several months, local governments across the country have shut down hundreds of private Christian “house churches”. But this year they have taken a tougher approach that relies partly on “thought reform” – a phrase for political indoctrination. Last November, Christian residents of a rural township in eastern Jiangxi province were persuaded to replace posters of the cross and Jesus Christ inside their homes with portraits of Xi, a local official said.
“Through our thought reform, they’ve voluntarily done it,” Qi Yan, a member of the township party committee, said. “The move is aimed at Christian families in poverty, and we educated them to believe in science and not in superstition, making them believe in the party.”


#2

China is heading into some sort of Abyss, not just when it comes to Christianity. Xi was recently voted President for life, usually never a good sign. In places like Russia and China, many citizens are willing to look the other way as long as they perceive a loss of freedom as a gain in their own situation. This is a dangerous scenario as it has led to things in the past such as the rise of the Nazis.

Authoritarianism has been on the rise in recent years. Turkey is another example. If you are willing to be self reflective, some of that is happening in the US at the moment.


#3

Long live the “Police State of the Party”


#4

This is why it baffles me to hear religious freedom all-too-often trivialized. People don’t get it. The principle affects everybody from Christians to atheists to Zoroastrians. Who said that we should demand the same rights for others that we expect for ourselves?


#5

It’s not one party or another. The move is towards Authoritarianism. I don’t want to get too political here, but we have a President who is doing things virtually no one here would take from their children or would have remotely respected from someone holding the office for perceived political gain. See the pattern here?


#6

China isn’t the Soviet Union but it has never been a good country for religious freedom. With president Xi’s consolidation of power I don’t expect it will be good news for anybody who is less than 100% mainstream.

Most people don’t actually like freedom and they never did. Not here in the US, not in Europe, not anywhere else. They prefer safety, including a feeling of emotional safety. That means trampling and denigrating on people that don’t prostrate themselves to whatever set of norms are popular.


#7

That’s funny, because our last president spent eight years doing the same things, and worse, and no one seemed to give a crap. Now that it’s Trump doing it though, now it’s a travesty and must be stopped.

:roll_eyes:

Whatever, like you said, let’s try to avoid making this a politically-charged discussion.


#8

Has anyone heard of the social credit system now being implemented in China?

Scary stuff. They basically collect data on your habits like surfing the internet, the stuff you buy, track your movements through the number of public cameras, and what you say in social media and then give you a grade. Those who fail to make the cut are prevented from such things as travel, buying or renting a house, education, employment and even marriage, among others.

I imagine being Christian is a mark against you.


#9

Then you got 16 and 17 year olds in Western countries wearing the hammer and sickle Communist symbol around proudly :frowning: We must pray for China.


#10

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