This is a problem. It is true religious oppression, and Christians around the world need to be making noise about this.
China’s Communist leadership has ramped up the pressure on Chinese Christians, through burning Bibles, removing symbols of their faith, and even ordering Christians to sign papers that renounce their beliefs and pledging loyalty to the Communist government.
I’ve written about Christian persecution around the world, before, and pointed out the work of Open Doors USA, a group that monitors persecution and provides resources for Christians in oppressed regions.
On the World Watch List of the top 50 worst nations in the world for Christian persecution, China is currently listed at number 43, with the source of persecution being Communism and post-Communism, and the main “religion” of the nation being no religion, or atheism.
Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid – a group that specifically monitors China’s Christian persecution – posted video recently that was taken by other Christian activists.
“CCP starts burning the Bible and crosses in Henan. Last time burning Bibles campaign happened in late 1960s by dictator Chairman Mao’s wife Jiang Qing in Shanghai. She was arrested in 1976 but Christians grew to millions. Will Never be successful,” Fu wrote.
Fox News noted that besides the burning of Bibles and taking down of crosses, authorities lately have also been forcing Christians to sign papers where they reject their faith, or else risk being expelled from school or lose welfare benefits.
All of these seems… biblical.
#China CCP starts burning the Bible and crosses in Henan. Last time burning Bibles campaign happened in late 1960s by dictator Chairman Mao’s wife Jiang Qing in Shanghai. She was arrested in 1976 but Christians grew to millions. Will Never be successful河南文革重现，烧圣经十字架 pic.twitter.com/T5esv16NXI
— Bob Fu傅希秋 (@BobFu4China) September 5, 2018
It’s not that we haven’t been warned, but that doesn’t mean we allow ourselves to be complacent, either.
Fu explained that authorities are attempting to “Sinicize” Christianity in the nation by watering it down with nationalism and atheistic Communism.
That’s kind of the same problem I have with those evangelicals that are attempting to water down the Gospel of Christ by making an unrepentant adulterer the new “savior” of the faith, or with attaching the faith to any political party.
You can’t mix what is godly with what is ungodly.
“The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” Fu said.
This isn’t a new thing in China, actually. Persecution of Christians has been going on for many years.
For those who are interested, I highly recommend the autobiography of Chinese Christian evangelist, Liu Zhenying, known as Brother Yun. His book, “The Heavenly Man,” is a powerful journey through intense religious persecution and sacrifice, all for the pursuit of righteousness and faith.
Brother Yun was instrumental in forming the house church movement of China, where a network of true believers risk everything to worship, meeting secretly in each others’ homes to worship, moving weekly to avoid authorities.
That is very much how it was for the earliest Christians.
Reuters reported recently that one of the largest Protestant churches in Beijing was banned. Chinese officials confiscated what they deemed “illegal promotional materials.”
Zion church had apparently been hosting worship services, attracting hundreds of believers every weekend for years in the nation’s capital. But it faced increasing pressure this year. In April, they refused orders to install television cameras in the building and faced threats of eviction.
Zion Pastor Jin Mingri explained that communist officials charged the church with hosting events without registering on Sunday, declaring the church “legally banned.”
“I fear that there is no way for us to resolve this issue with the authorities,” Mingri said.
This is only one instance of suppression of religion freedom.
Others across the populous nation have seen their church services raided and shut down. Worshippers are being arrested and beaten.
Religious images, pictures of Jesus Christ are being confiscated and replaced with images that honor the government and Communism.
Even teachers are being accused of “brainwashing” their students with Christianity.
The American Center for Law and Justice has involved itself, beginning a petition to address the ongoing problem.
“The Chinese government is trying to stop the spread of Christianity. This blatant persecution cannot be tolerated,” the ACLJ says in its petition, which as of Monday morning has been signed by over 40,000 people.
“We’re working at the United Nations, addressing the severe persecution of Chinese Christians. They urgently need your voice.
“We are working internationally to put pressure on China to stop persecuting Christians.”
I don’t think Communists care about what an American rights group has to say, and I’m equally unconvinced that the bed of vipers with the United Nations care.
It is a noble effort, however.
For believers out there, just remember that China is number 43 out of the top 50 persecutors of Christianity. That means there are 42 other nations where the persecution is worse.