China’s Crackdown on ChristianityPosted: August 8, 2014
The crackdown may foreshadow a national shift in official policy on religion, a bid by President Xi Jinping to shore up political stability.
“I won’t let them take down the cross even if it means they would shoot me dead.”
— Fan Liang’an, 73, whose grandfather helped build the church in 1924.
At least 14 and as many as 50 worshippers — some elderly — sustained wounds, including a fractured skull, broken bones and internal injuries.
Their crime? Rallying to guard their church cross, government-slated for demolition.
“It’s a risky game: In targeting the church, the Communist leaders also target a crucial source of social stability…”
It was just the latest in the intensifying persecution in Zhejiang Province, one of China’s most Christian regions.
[From our August 3rd edition: Report: China on Course to Become World’s Most Christian Nation within 15 years]
Communist China’s effectiveness at resisting reform and discouraging dissent would almost guarantee that Christianity’s future in China is not hopeful as it might appear. With Maoist China’s record of hostility to Christianity, and current success at containing or crushing competing ideologies, is this report drawing premature conclusions? (read more)
Since January, Communist officials there have toppled the crosses of at least 229 churches. The government has also torn down some churches entirely, and issued demolition notices to over 100 more.
“…and may end up politicizing a large and growing part of the population.”
And the crackdown may foreshadow a national shift in official policy on religion, a bid by President Xi Jinping to shore up political stability.
It’s a risky game: In targeting the church, the Communist leaders also target a crucial source of social stability, and may end up politicizing a large and growing part of the population.
For decades under Mao, the Communists banned all religion — enforced with brutality, prison and even death.
Beijing relaxed the ban in post-Mao reforms, allowing some state-sanctioned churches to operate legally, with the state controlling everything from the selection of pastors to the content of sermons to the membership.
Unsanctioned churches also sprung up. The government has tolerated some, while frequently cracking down on others…(read more)
Jillian Kay Melchior is a fellow for the Franklin Center and Independent Women’s Forum.
- Why is China tearing down church crosses? Because it’s terrified of religion (blogs.spectator.co.uk)
- Chinese Christians fight back as gov’t tears down crosses (foxnews.com)
- CHINA – VATICAN – Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government’s campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang (asianews.it)
- China accused of anti-Christian campaign as Sanjiang church demolition begins (telegraph.co.uk)
- China’s Christians fend off church demolition crew amid latest Communist Party crackdown on faith (telegraph.co.uk)
- About That Church Demolition in China (nationalreview.com)
- Report: China on Course to Become World’s Most Christian Nation within 15 years (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Chinese Police Remove Cross From Church Steeple In ‘China’s Jerusalem’ (dailycaller.com)
- Chinese Christians beaten for refusing to take down crosses (twitchy.com)