Christian Persecution: Chinese House Church Christian Sentenced to “Re-Education Through Labor”

One way the Communist government in China attempts to control Christianity is by confining it to government-approved churches. The government then picks the bishops, priests and preachers who work in these churches. That places these “official” churches and their message under government control.

One way Christians in China try to get around this is to worship in “house churches” which are basically underground churches where people can worship the true Jesus found in the Gospels. The government attempts to suppress these house churches by use of criminal punishments, including sentencing people to labor, which is probably just another name for slave labor.

I don’t know, but I wonder if any of these prisoners work in American factories, making the gifts we put under our Christmas trees.

The following article from Worthy News describes the sentencing of Mao Henfeng to “re-education through labor.” Mao Hengfeng is a house church in Shanghai. The article reads in part:

BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News)– A high profile house church Christian in Shanghai who has been continually targeted for government harassment was just handed an extra-judicial sentence to a forced labor camp.

Mao Hengfeng was sentenced to 18 months of “re-education through labor” for “disrupting public order,” the third such sentence for the 50 year-old Mao, who is in poor health with high blood pressure.

Labor camp sentences were also handed down to others who joined Hengfeng in seeking redress from the Communist government; recently many petitioners have disappeared into official custody, been criminally detained or had their freedom of movement curtailed in the days leading up to the November 8 opening of the 18th Party Congress.

ChinaAid President Bob Fu expressed grave concern for these political detainees as well as others who suffered human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese government as it prepares for its Party Congress. Fu called upon the international community to seize the opportunity presented by this latest Party Congress and bring about reforms that will protect human rights, the rule of law and freedom of religion. (Read more here.)

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  • Bill S

    The Chinese drove the Jesuits out of China when the Jesuits, on the orders of the Pope, prohibitted the worship of ancestors, which was as harmless to the Chinese as our veneration of the saints is to us. The Chinese have historically seen Christianity as insensitive to their culture and a disruption to society. Persecution preceded the Communist regime but is even worse now that atheism is the official religion (I’m not sure I said that exactly right, but I believe I am close enough. I welcome correction.)

    The Chinese government tried hard to downplay its intolerance of religion during the 2008 Olympic Games, which were to China what the 1936 Olympic Games were to Nazi Germany. China has serious human rights issues and does not welcome Christianity or any other religion, even Budhism. Its oppression of Tibet is symptomatic of its overall atheistic attitudes. It is people like this that make me regret having become a closet atheist. I much prefer the company of Christians.

    • Ted Seeber

      The Japanese did the same when Catholics stopped venerating the Emperor. But the Jesuits there were smarter- they simply created the Zen Japanese Tea Ceremony, with movements based on the Catholic Mass, and popularized it.

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  • Bill S

    Yes. I looked it up. How do you know these things?

    The Jesuits in Japan soon came to encourage the practice of tea because it involved no superstitious belief, homage to images, or sectarian religious rites. This allowed Christians to take part in a cultural activity without compromising their religious faith and in fact a number of Japanese converts, all known to Rodrigues, were renowned for their expertise.