Tags: China | Religion | christians | churches | crackdown | xi jinping

China's Christians Searching Amid Crackdown on Churches

a group of chinese christians walk down a red carpet while clothed in religious atire

By    |   Tuesday, 25 December 2018 11:10 AM

China is cracking down on churches, but that has not deterred many Christians from finding other places to worship, The New York Times is reporting.

The crackdown comes even as Christians throughout the world celebrate Christmas.

This year, the Chinese government has:

  • Banned online sales of the Bible
  • Burned crosses
  • Demolished churches
  • Forced at least six places of worship to close

Renee Xia, of the China Human Rights Defenders, said the Chinese government is targeting the "heart of the underground Christian resistance."

The government is concentrating on unofficial Christian churches that promote social justice or have been critical of the Communist Party's grip on society, according to the Times.

And the crackdown worsened in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as police closed two churches, which had attracted thousands, the newspaper said. And ChinaAid, an advocacy group, reported dozens of Christians had been detained in a raid on a prominent Chinese church.

But even as the government mandates religious groups to register, people are still worshiping in unofficial churches, often referred to as underground or house churches, the Times reported.

"We have moved underground," said one person who regularly attended a church ordered closed.

And another person interviewed by the newspaper said he now goes to a friend's home to recite hymns and pray.

"We will not forfeit our faith because of suppression by the authorities," Gu Baoluo said.

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Many Christians are finding other places to worship as China cracks down on churches, according to The New York Times.
christians, churches, crackdown, xi jinping
Tuesday, 25 December 2018 11:10 AM
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