As Christians now far outnumber members of the Communist Party in China, the Chinese government is focusing heavily on forcing Christians to conform to the party’s agenda, according to a report from China Aid.
“[W]e have good reasons to worry that the major religions in China, especially house churches and underground Catholic and Protestant churches, will suffer the most unprecedented suppression under the name of the ‘transforming into the Communist Party of China’ since the Cultural Revolution,” read the report from China Aid, which documents abuses against Christians.
The year 2016 marked a major turning point in the country’s religious policy from former President Jiang Zemin’s “active guidance of religion and socialist society to mutually adapt” policy to Xi Jinping’s “adhere to the direction of the religions’ Sinicization” policy, according to the report.
The government has tried to “Sinicize,” or bring under Chinese influence, religions with legislation aimed at forcing house churches to join the state-run church, called the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, according to The Christian Post. Another method used to “Sinicize” religions has been to destroy the crosses on church roofs and force churches to use the symbols and activities of the Communist Party to their religious sites.
Control the growth
Bob Fu, China Aid’s founder and president, told the Post that the Chinese government’s main goal is to control the growth of Christianity.
“The top leadership is very increasingly worried about the rapid growth of Christian faith and their public presence and their social influence,” Fu said. “It is a political fear for the Communist Party, as the number of Christians in the country far outnumber the members of the Party.”
Pastors who have spoken out against the destruction of crosses have faced legal consequences, the Post reported. (TAB)