In churches and home fellowships all over China, thousands of Christians gather weekly to give thanks to God, and study His Word.
These people are not aggressive, not planning a revolt, and abide by the extreme laws of the communist nation, yet the government still makes their lives more difficult.
What is their crime?
Putting their faith in Jesus and not in the oppressive dictator Xi Jinping.
Throughout history, kings who felt threatened by the power of God persecuted His people. Most notably, Jesus and His followers were targeted, because the religious and political leaders thought there may be an uprising against the systems of the day.
It is understandable why rulers who don’t submit themselves to the Creator of the universe would have reason to be insecure in their position.
In China, the communist regime is oppressing Christians worse than has been seen in decades, making outrageous statements and trying to wipe any trace of Jesus off of the atheist nation.
The Christian Post reports:
“A Chinese official who heads state-sanctioned Christian churches in China has vowed to rid Christianity in the country of any Western ‘imprint,’ calling for further ‘sinicization’ of religion.”
Head of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, Xu Xiaohong, believes there are “problems” with the way Christianity is expressed in the country.
“[We] must recognize that Chinese churches are surnamed ‘China,’ not ‘the West’,” Xu emphatically relayed to delegates at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Going even further, Xiaohong says that, not only is Christianity a problem, but that it has “infiltrated” the communist nation. While Xiaohong undoubtedly meant this to have negative connotations, believers see this as a sign that God is working in the lives of Chinese citizens.
According to Christian Headlines, Xiaohong said that “The actions by anti-China forces that attempt to affect our social stability or even subvert the regime of our country are doomed to fail.”
However, there are many Christians living in China that have found increased social stability by being united with fellow believers. They don’t see it as being “anti-China”, but pro-God, knowing that any country that wishes to flourish must strive to be grounded in Biblical principles.
Bob Fu, founder of the religious rights group ChinaAid, knows that the country’s crackdown on religion will only fuel the fire of believers. The Guardian reports on how Fu foresees the coming years:
“I have hope for the future, these campaigns were done in Roman times, under Stalin and under Mao, and none succeeded. It will only have the opposite effect, and if Communist party cadres studied history they would see this. Crackdowns will cause the church to grow faster, and help church be more united.”
China’s “sinicization campaign” is working towards corralling all religion under the umbrella of Atheism. For those who do not blindly pledge their loyalty to the communist party first and foremost, they are to sent to “re-education” camps in an effort to break their spirits.
Can you have Christianity with no God? Chinese propaganda will try to convince citizens as much, hoping to have no hindrance in allegiance to president Jinping.
Chinese officials are even going as far as rewriting some of the Bible, replacing some teachings with that of Confucius and Buddha, making it more “Chinese”, according to Christian Headlines.
In years past, churches were mostly left alone if they did not get involved in political matters, but now that has all changed. Recent crackdowns on religion have led to many churches being shut down, and a few church leaders imprisoned.
Pastor Wang and his wife led a growing underground church until they were arrested late last year for “inciting subversion of state power.” Wang did not change the way he conducted his fellowship, but the government now viewed his growing congregation as a threat, leaving Pastor Wang and his wife facing a possible 15 year sentence.
According to the World Watch List, China has made the most drastic spike in ratings in one year for Christian persecution than any country ever before. They were at No. 43 in 2018, where Christians were mostly left alone to worship at will, but are now at No. 27, where one is not free to display religious beliefs at will.
Chinese law enforcement officers are forcing private Christians and churches to take down crosses and religious pictures, to replace them with photographs of Chinese Communist leaders. All this to see believers don’t look to God to find answers, peace, and direction, but it won’t work.
The Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35), and that we can overcome the world by putting our faith and trust in Jesus (John 16:33).
Where God is the enemy trembles (James 2:19). The Chinese Christians are growing in numbers faster than the Chinese government can stop the “infiltration”, and that scares President Jinping. History has shown that rulers who wish to keep complete control over their subjects have to have them looking to them as the principle power, and that system of fear is being broken down.
Please pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters right now, who are being targeted for their faith, and that through this they will become stronger and closer than ever before, being a light unto an ever darkening world.