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China’s Communist Party Chairman and President Xi Jinping. COURTESY PHOTO.
Mr. David Curry, the President and CEO of Open Doors, one of the largest organisations serving persecuted Christians around the world, says China’s persecution of Christians is escalating.
Mr. Curry stated during an exclusive interview with Christian Headlines recently that the atheist government banned children from attending church services in the country with officials threatening parents who break this law.
“It is getting worse,” he said.
“Chinese law does not allow children “under the age of 18 to attend church,” Mr Curry explained.
“So parents either have to disciple them themselves or sneak them into some sort of Bible study. What happens, in this case, is that the kids may not be let into the college of their choice if they attend Bible study, they may not get jobs, the parents may lose their job. So there’s repercussions for this sort of thing,” ,” Curry went on.
As the Beijing Winter Olympics get underway, all eyes are on China. However, more than 14,000 people from 117 countries have signed a petition calling Christians to boycott the games “in the name of our persecuted brothers and sisters” in this nation.
“The Olympics are always filled with wonderful pageantry and inspiring athletic accomplishments,” said Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) spokesperson Todd Nettleton in a press release. “But let’s not forget what the host government doesn’t want us to see: imprisoned pastors, destroyed church buildings and a complete lack of religious freedom. I hope every Christian will use each event and every Olympic update as a reminder to pray for our persecuted family members in China as the Scriptures instruct us to do.”
China was No. 17 on this year’s 2022 World Watch List, which ranks the countries of the world according to the danger level for Christians.
The report in subject said Christians “are facing increased pressure from the Chinese authorities,” due partially to the “most oppressive and sophisticated” surveillance system in the world.
Christian Headlines reports that despite the prevailing persecution in China, there is an estimated 96 million Christians living in the country. These must attend government-approved churches that face heavy regulations, such as the editing of sermons. Because of this, many attend illegal underground churches.
Chinese Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping “knows that he cannot stamp out” the nation’s Christians, Mr Curry told media.
“He is slowly strangling Christian faith, and he’s doing it with high-tech surveillance. They watch, and they track everybody in what they’re doing – through facial recognition and other things,” Mr Curry said.
He summarized the surveillance strategy like this: “[These two citizens] are going to church too often. Therefore, they’re not good communists. Therefore, they should lose their job. They can’t fly – they’re on a no-fly list.”
“And all they did was go to Bible study. That’s happening right now in China,” he said.
The pandemic has given the government an excuse to persecute. Although all churches closed during the pandemic, “some churches were forced to remain closed once restrictions began to lift, and were quietly phased out,” the report said.
“Christian leaders are generally the main target of government surveillance, and a very small number have been abducted,” the report said. “Converts from a Muslim or Buddhist background from minority ethnic groups arguably face the most severe violations of religious freedom, because they are persecuted, not only by the authorities, but also by their families and communities.”
News Agencies contributed to this report.
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