China has been deemed one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians.
Believers face persecution and abuse on a daily basis, and they’re often the outcasts of society.
And the Chinese government recently proved this continuing hostility toward Christianity by viciously destroying a megachurch in Anhui province.
The church, which could seat 3,000 people, was located in the town of Funan in the Anhui province of China. During regular services, the church was almost always full of Chinese Christians.
The church was even part of the country’s officially-recognized church network and supposedly protected by the government’s oversight.
That all changed when a SWAT team and a band of anti-riot police burst into the church during a worship service. Providing no warrants or paperwork, the government agents announced they had come to demolish the church.
Demolition began immediately as the shocked congregation reeled from the news. The military police brought a bulldozer, which they used to begin tearing down the church’s walls.
As the demolition proceeded, many of the worshippers knelt before the authorities, pleading with them not to destroy the building. Some of the Christians fainted and were rushed to the hospital.
The anti-riot police claimed that the government had decided to renovate the area and would rebuild the church elsewhere, but it’s obvious the Chinese government has no intention of replacing this house of worship.
So far, the church has not been compensated for the property loss in any way. The government has merely suggested the congregation find other places to worship.
But it’s becoming increasingly difficult for Chinese Christians to find churches. The Communist Chinese government is incredibly restrictive in forming its official church network, and this isn’t the first Christian church that’s been attacked in the last several months.
Under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, several other churches have been badly damaged or completely destroyed, including True Jesus Church in Henan Province, where military police dragged elderly congregants out before razing the building.
Additionally, the government has removed plaques of the Ten Commandments from churches throughout the city of Luoyang, replacing the Scripture portions with quotations from President Jinping.
Now, the congregation of the Funan church has lost both their house of worship and their leadership. After demolishing the church, the police detained the church’s pastors, Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao.
The government agents claimed the pastors were arrested on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order,” which was clearly a false charge.
“This is yet another clear example showing the escalation of religious persecution today by the Chinese Communist regime,” said Bob Fu, the president of ChinaAid, a Christian human rights advocacy organization in China.
“The total disregard of religious freedom’s protection as enshrined in the Communist Party’s own Constitution tells the whole world President Xi is determined to continue his war against the peaceful Christian faithful,” continued Fu.
Over the course of Xi Jinping’s presidency, the Chinese government has increased its efforts to “Sinicize” religions across the country.
Sinicization, a process by which “non-Chinese” cultural movements such as Christianity are brought under the influence of traditional Chinese culture, is meant to bring all religions in China into alignment with the official atheistic government-sanctioned viewpoint.
As a dangerous and extreme form of nationalism, Sinicization threatens many minority groups in China. The Uighur Muslim and Falun Gong religious communities are heavily persecuted as well, even to the point of death.
It’s a perilous time for anyone who disagrees with the Communist government, but Chinese Christians are holding onto their faith, no matter what persecution comes their way.
“This campaign will surely fail in the end,” ChinaAid’s Bob Fu concluded, firmly believing that the efforts of the Chinese government will not stop the Christian movement in China.
Christians across China are standing up for their religious freedoms and their Savior. One pastor, Wang Yi, released a bold statement about the government’s actions, saying:
“I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws.”
Wang Yi is one of many Chinese pastors who have been detained for speaking out.
Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters in China to be strong in the face of this persecution, and let’s pray that God will move powerfully in China.