|A cross is removed from a church
in Taizhou, Zhejiang, in this
undated photo. (Photo: ChinaAid)
(Zhengzhou, Henan—April 30, 2018) Government forces enacted a sting against churches in China’s central Henan province this past month, shutting down their buildings and confiscating their crosses.
Several anonymous Christians informed a ChinaAid reporter that this crackdown has reached a large scale. The local government in Shangqiu removed a cross from Jinzhuang Church, and officials in other areas forced Christians to renounce their beliefs, threatening to keep their children from going to school and revoke monthly pensions for elderly church members if they refused. Authorities also said they would fire Christian civil servants and interfere with Christian family businesses.
On Easter, the religious affairs bureau and public security bureau personnel invaded churches and drove out the Christians. The public security bureau hired security guards to block the church gate, search every Christian who enters, and prevent children from entering.
Similarly, the government in Anyang, Henan, assigned its employees to monitor church gates, installed signs around religious venues that said “Minors are not allowed in churches.” The government also shut down a Catholic church on April 17 and demolished its crosses.
On the same day, government officials removed the a cross from a Catholic church in Jiaozuo, Henan. They also confiscated children’s Bibles and took over church finances.
Henan officials also dispatched security guards and auxiliary police to remove the desks, chairs, and teaching equipment from kindergartens with religious backgrounds and seal entrances.
During mid-April, the government forcibly demolished a church in Gongyi, Henan. The church members recorded the incident, but authorities confiscated their cameras. In the meantime, the Hua County government raided a Catholic church within their vicinity. They confiscated the church’s religious items and dismissed the people hired to guard the church.
Likewise, Henan’s capital, Zhengzhou faced a string of persecutions as police installed anti-Catholic banners, calling the denomination a “cult” and asking that they not teaching religion to minors on the doors of Catholic churches. At Shuanghuai, Shutang, Jiayutang, and Youfangtang, four churches in Zhengzhou, police took away written prayers, psalms, and Bibles.
Additionally, officials in Puyang not only demolished churches but also forced church leaders to reveal their church members’ ID numbers, occupations, and home addresses.
Local Christians believe that Henan is conducting a full-on anti-religious movement, and the conflict is still escalating.
ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Christians in Henan, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.