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China ramping up persecution of Christians as it demands ‘worship and allegiance’ of Xi Jinping

For background on Orthodox Christianity in China, see here.

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

“China ramping up persecution of Christians as it demands ‘worship and allegiance’ of Xi Jinping: watchdog,” by Jon Brown, Fox News, February 24, 2023:

The Chinese Communist Party escalated its persecution of Christians throughout 2022 as the country clamped down on churches and online religious content while demanding allegiance to Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to a watchdog group.

report released last week by the U.S.-based non-governmental organization ChinaAid warned that the Chinese government is using charges of “fraud” to financially suffocate the house church movement, which consists of Christian congregations that have not registered with China’s official Protestant church.

Authorities are using the traditional Christian practice of giving tithes and offerings to trump up charges against house churches under the “Measures for the Financial Management of Religious Activity Venues,” which were updated last June, according to the report. The report noted that multiple house church pastors and elders have been jailed and potentially face years in prison.

A new report from ChinaAid warned that while the Chinese government once demanded allegiance to the Communist Party, it increasingly demands “worship and allegiance” to Chinese President Xi Jinping. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

ChinaAid president and founder Bob Fu said in a statement that his organization is also “gravely concerned” with how state-sanctioned churches are being treated in China, which has approximately 96.7 million Christians, according to persecution watchdog Open Doors.

“By using the new measures against religious content online and the infamous ‘zero-COVID’ policy, authorities limited or eliminated Christian gatherings,” said Fu.

The Chinese government is also cracking down on Christian websites and apps in an attempt to “remove Christianity from cyberspace,” according to ChinaAid.

Following the implementation of the “Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information and Services” in 2022, censorship of online Christian content — including even in group chats — has reached an “unprecedented” level, the report warned….

“Their goal is not only to curate a ‘socialist-friendly’ church; they hope to erase it,” said Fu. “The international community needs to know about these trends and developments as China continues to rise on the global stage.”

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