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Δευτέρα, 27 Μαΐου, 2024

Atrocities against Christianity in China “worst” in 40 years

Περισσότερα Νέα

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The atrocities against Christians have continued to rise and reached the worst level in 40 years, alleged activists and Christian believers. Christians living in China are suffering from harassment, religious persecution and subjugation by the China Communist Party (CCP). They believed a systematic campaign was being implemented to wipe out Christianity from China.  Christians are scared to express their faith in public due to fear of retribution by Chinese government agencies. 

Bob Fu, the founder of ChinaAid, an international Christian human rights organisation, said the persecution of Chinese Christians had been the worst in 40 years as even Children were forced to repudiate Christianity. “Without any exaggeration, the persecution against the Christians and other religious minorities has really reached the worst level we have not seen in 40 years since the Cultural Revolution…. For the first time, we have seen the Communist Party is cracking down on the Church across the board; literally declared a war against Christianity.” 

The population of Christians appears to have stagnated when the overall population in China is increasing. According to the Chinese General Social Survey, about 23.2 million people in China identified themselves as Christians in 2010. However, the number dropped to 19.9 million in 2018.  Many Christians now are scared to reveal their religion owing to the restrictions and scrutiny by the CCP government, according to the Washington-based Pew Research Centre.  

Nina Shea, director of the Centre for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, said the declining number of Christians in China came as no surprise thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on Christianity—famously known as the ‘Sinicization’ campaign. “The state has strictly banned all children from any exposure to religion, churches have been blanketed with facial recognition surveillance and linked to social credit scores,” Shea said. 

Highlighting the severity and intensity of CCP’s crackdown on Christians, Virginia-based Jubilee Campaign USA released a detailed report on how children were subjected to brutal treatment. “Christian children are punished, threatened, excluded, and rebuked for their families’ and their own religious affiliation. They are prohibited from receiving religious education and face persecution for revealing their religious affiliation in school,” reads the report.    

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Persecution of Christians has intensified during the regime of Xi as he seeks to “guard” the country against infiltration through religion and extremist ideology. “Those kinds of new attitudes have translated into different types of measures against Christians, which amount to intensified persecution of religious groups,” said Eva Pils, a professor of law at King’s College London. 

There is a hostile anti-Christian environment in China, so Christians appear reluctant to express their religious duties freely, said David Curry, president of California-based Global Christian Relief. “The government has tightened control of Christian activities outside registered venues, banned foreigners from spreading church content online, and cracked down on house churches,” he said. 

China has seen a spike in atrocities against Christianity in recent years. The repression tactics include the removal of rooftop crosses from churches, imposing bans on Christian groups, defacing or closing down or demolishing churches and harassment and imprisonment of pastors and Christians. Even buying books online or attending religious programmes online led to actions against the members of Christianity in China. 

CCP government has been arresting pastors under fake charges of fraud and superstition while it terms a church as an illegal, unregistered organisation, Fu said. “Hundreds or perhaps thousands of house church leaders have been arrested and charged with the so-called crime of ‘business fraud.’ Simply, the Communist Party has criminalised tithing and offering,” he said. 

Moreover, Christians were detained at “brainwashing camps” where victims were tortured so they would renounce their faith. One such detainee named Li Yuese said “After you’ve been in there a week, death starts to look better than staying there.” There is a separate CCP committee that targets members of Churches and works for the “transformation” of Christians living in China by putting them in brainwashing camps. 

Li was imprisoned for 10 months in a windowless room. “They threaten, insult and intimidate you. You have to accept the statement they prepare for you,” he said. “If you refuse, you will be seen as having a bad attitude and they will keep you in detention and keep on beating you.” Even Bibles are restricted and censored. “Being a Catholic, especially, makes one suspect in the eyes of the present-day Beijing authorities,” said 

Steven Mosher, a scholar with the Population Research Institute. 

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