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China: Christians Compelled to Pray for the Martyrs—of the Red Army

The Chinese government continues its efforts to transform Christianity into a tool of the state. This directive on prayers for the fallen soldiers of the Chinese military in World War II is part of a long campaign by the government to empty Christianity of its content and replace it with worship of the state and its leaders, creating a new pseudo-Christianity that advances the goals of the Communist Party. This threatens all the Christians of the country, including the tiny community of Orthodox Christians in China.

China offers yet another instance of the persecution of Christians by governing officials that is unfortunately on the increase not only in China, but in all too many other nations around the world.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“Chinese Christians Compelled to Pray for the Martyrs—of the Red Army,” by Zhang Chunhua, Bitter Winter, September 6, 2021:

Christians in China are forbidden to pray for their martyrs. Those killed by the CCP obviously cannot be commemorated, but even those martyred for their faith in Imperial China are not remembered, lest the devotees make unpleasant comparisons with later killings.

However, there are times when all Christians throughout China should mandatorily celebrate martyrs. Last week at Fujian Theological Seminary members of the local Three-Self Church were invited to celebrate the martyrs of what in China is called the “People’s War of Resistance Against the Japanese Aggression.” Jesus as King of Peace was also prayed for the “peaceful reunification” of China, with an eye on Taiwan.

It did not happen in Fujian only. In fact a directive was sent to all churches that are part of the government-controlled Protestant Three-Self Church, the only Protestant church with a legal existence in China, reading as follows:

“To the Christian churches in each province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the central government.

This year is the 76th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. To respond positively to the initiative of the Chinese Religious Peace Council, a notice is hereby issued to the Christian churches in each province (or autonomous region or municipality directly under the central government), inviting churches to organize peace prayer worship activities to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War around September 3, according to the actual situation….

Churches are requested to submit evidence of the relevant activities (text, video and photo materials) to the Media Ministry Department of the China Christian Council by September 10.”

The last sentence means that if some church declines the “invitation” and does not quickly submit evidence that the celebration of the martyrs was held, there will be consequences….

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