Churches in Henan and Guangzhou face pressure

A cross is removed from atop a
church in Lankao, Henan, on
Sept. 27, 2018.
(Photo: ChinaAid)

ChinaAid

(Shangqiu, Henan—Oct. 18, 2018) A large-scale crackdown occurring across China has subjected Christians and churches in Henan and Guangzhou to immense pressure.

In February, China implemented its revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, which empowered officials to further suppress churches by imposing restrictions intended to bring religions into alignment with the ideals of the Communist Party. Since then, officials across China, especially in Henan, have used the regulations as a springboard for persecution.

Recently, authorities forcibly closed a church in Shangqiu, Henan, and fixed two posters on both sides of the church’s door. One reads “The New Age Civilization Implementation Center of the Shangqiu Municipal Urban and Rural Integration Demonstration Zone” and the other “Comprehensive Cultural Service Center of the Shangqiu Municipal Urban and Rural Integration Demonstration Zone.”

On Sept. 27, the cross of a church in Lankao, Henan, was also demolished.

Because of the pressure, many local churches have become very obedient to the government.

One Christian in Henan said that the China Christian Council, one of two government Christian organizations, spent 70,000 yuan [$10,087.00 USD] on demolishing a church’s cross. The money had come from Christian donations.

In addition, Tianzhongtang Church in Zhumadian, Henan, issued a notice banning five tues of people from entering the church, including Communist Party members, cadres, children and youth, students, and people active in the military. Many of the official churches also use Bible verses to annotate the core values of China’s socialism.

The infiltration of the Communist Party into the church has worried many Chinese Christians. One said, “Nowadays, the [non-state-run] churches are persecuted, and the Gospel ministries are much more difficult than they were a year ago.”

Persecution also occurs in the government-run churches, as well. According to Christians who attend Dongshantang, an official church in Guangzhou, their church has canceled children’s Sunday school for the last two Sundays and has suspended both it and the youth group meetings indefinitely. This is likely in response to the Regulations on Religious Affairs, which forbid people under the age of 18 from taking part in religious activities. The churchgoers also reported that personnel from the local religious affairs bureau go undercover as Christians and attend Sunday services in order to conduct secret, on-site supervision.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Christians in Henan and Guangzhou, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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