Crackdown on Christian Churches Intensifies in China
Authorities in central China's Henan province are ratcheting up pressure on unregistered religious establishments with the intent of shutting down at least two-thirds of Christian churches there. Observers say the aim of the policy from China's top leader, Xi Jinping, appears to be to contain the growth and spread of Christianity in the country and tighten controls over religious groups. The province's crackdown on Christian churches has intensified since August, with at least four churches in Nanyang city being raided at the break of dawn Wednesday, according to Jonathan Liu, a priest with the San Francisco-based Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness. Liu, who is based in the United States, said local Chinese church sources have told him that unidentified police and local government officials showed up at the Henan churches without court-issued search warrants. Closure of Christian churches The unidentified police and local government officials were said to have removed church crosses inside and out, blotted out Christian slogans on the walls, and vandalized or confiscated church-owned properties before closing them down. Followers who resisted were either beaten or taken away, Liu said. VOA has tried unsuccessfully reach police and religious affairs officials in Henan and Beijing for comment. Hundreds of family churches in Henan have reportedly been shut down since February when authorities became aggressive in implementing the newly-enacted Regulations for Religious Affairs. Family churches, also known as house churches, are independent of the state-sanctioned religious organizations. "This is a provincial crackdown. In addition to the removal of church crosses, [Henan authorities] plan to merge many local Christian churches. Some local priests told me that up to two-thirds of churches there may be closed down," Liu said. Similar raids were conducted recently on Christian churches in Guangdong and Heilongjiang provinces. Ax from Xi Fuk Tsang Ying, director of the... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Crackdown on Christian Churches Intensifies in China, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Friday, 7 September, 2018
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