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The Persecuted Church in China

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

"The Western church is inundated with reports of persecution against Christians in China that make it sound like every Christian is under the gun. But are they? And is China solely targeting Christians while ignoring the remaining 1.2 billion citizens? In this episode, Steve gives us a clearer look into China’s persecution and who it affects." from video introduction

We in America talk about persecution in the church and recent examples have been during this pandemic churches have felt marginalized. But there are many places around the world where Christians experience true persecution many unto death.

The above video from Silk Road Catalyst Steve Schirmer helps us fact check some of the many claims about persecution being made. The fact is persecution is against all minorities not just Christians. In the western province of Xinjiang (means New Frontier), which is under Chinese denomination is home to Muslim-majority groups that include 11 million Uyghurs and smaller numbers of Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tatars, Hui and others. Usually portrayed as ‘motherland separatists’ or simply ‘terrorists’ in mainstream Chinese media the peoples of the region have been deprived of their most basic human rights, including freedom of religion, of movement and of communicating in their native language.

The Chinese government’s intentions have been made clear, they have a national policy of controlling all minorities including Christians. The main thrust of church persecution seems to be state sanctioned churches.

In regards to Christian's thousands of crosses already have been burned or ripped down from church buildings as many are being closed and/or demolished. Inside the church buildings which can remain open for now, crosses are being taken down or set next to portraits of Mao Zedong and Xi Jingping.

Churches Demolished in China

Singing songs that praise the Chinese Communist Party is being mandated before singing hymns. Pastors are being required to sign statements pledging to obey instructions from the Chinese government. Thousands of pastors already have been arrested, beaten, tortured, sentenced to years in prison, or simply disappearing.

Just as in the days of Cultural Revolution (1966-76), the Chinese government is again teaching school children that Christianity is an evil cult that spreads spiritual drugs that they must not take. The veiled threat to their parents is that their children will soon be instructed to report parents who believe in Jesus, let alone tell their children to believe in Jesus.

By law, the Communist state requires Christians to worship only in congregations registered with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. The Chinese Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) is a state-sanctioned Protestant organization of all Protestant churches in China. The organization was created in 1951 to promote a strategy of “self-governance, self-support, and self-propagation,” to remove foreign influences from Chinese churches (i.e. Truth), and to promote the member church’s loyalty to the Communist government. Churches registered with TSPM get government money that pays for many of their buildings and funds the education of its pastors. Because of its alignment with the Communist Party and its promotion of liberal theology, many congregations in China have refused to join the TPSM. Those that refuse to join are referred to as underground or house churches and are targeted for severe persecution.

To illustrate how God works (even as the Communist Party attempts to suppress the Word of God), the country has become the world’s biggest publisher and exporter of Scripture. China’s only legal printer of Bibles, Amity Printing Company, published its first Bible in cooperation with the United Bible Societies in 1987. As of 2018, nearly 80 million copies of the Bible have been printed for the church in China, while 100 million copies have been printed and shipped to overseas churches.

Books and Bibles printed in China are exempt from trade restrictions. More than half of the 100 million Bibles printed every year have been printed in China since the 1980s. Of those, 20 million are sold or given away in the United States.

The Bibles printed in China are legally available only at certain bookstores. The Chinese government has banned online retailers from selling the Bible.

The CCP’s worldview is if Christians love God more than the Communist Party, then persecution is the required course of action. Please pray for the persecuted Church in China. Pray that the government will relax its stringent and unfair measures and stop all attempts to stifle the Church in China.

Here is a link to China Source where Silk Road Catalyst got some of their source material.

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