In recent months, China has continuously ratcheted up a relentless crackdown on Christian congregations that are scattered throughout Beijing. They have destroyed crosses, shut down churches, burned bibles, and ordered members of churches to sign documents renouncing their faith.
According to Bob Fu, who is a representative of the U.S. based group China Aid, stated that the closure and disruption of churches in the central Henan province and in Beijing have seen a “significant escalation” compared to recent years. He states that “the international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief.”
Under the rule of president Xi Jinping, one of China’s most powerful leaders since Mao Zedong, many devout Christians are witnessing the restriction of their very own freedoms. Many experts and activists say that Xi, in an attempt to consolidate his power, is suppressing the Christian voice that has been experiencing a revival in recent years. China seems to focus their efforts in the province of Henan.
Many Christian pastors have provided images and video footage of Chinese officials burning books, furniture and crosses in raids in this particular region. Chinese law doesn’t allow for worship unless authorized and registered with the authorities; however, many congregants belong to an underground or house church that are currently in defiance of these laws.
Along with the targeting of Christian organizations, it seems that many other religions have been affected by this crackdown. Many Muslim organizations have been forced to sign similar papers renouncing their faith and profess a loyalty to the Communist Party. Interestingly enough, China only recognizes the legitimacy of Catholicism, Protestanism, Buddhism, Confuscianism/Daoism
The Chinese government has stated that they are taking the necessary measures to combat extremism.