Embed from Getty Images

The ruling party in China is attempting to increase their control over religious freedom in the country, most recently by taking a crackdown on Christianity.

In the country’s province of Henan, which has one of the largest Christian populations in China, churches were raided and demolished, Bibles and holy books were confiscated and new laws were established to monitor religious activities.

One Christian named Guo described an incident in which Chinese officials interrupted a church meeting and told everyone to leave. They then ordered church leaders to remove a cross, a Bible verse and a painting of the Last Supper off the wall. Guo didn’t give his full name out of fear of government repercussions.

“I’ve always prayed for our country’s leaders, for our country to get stronger,” he told AP. “They were never this severe before, not since I started going to church in the 80’s. Why are they telling us to stop now?”

The intensity of the government crackdowns have increased in recent months. Just this year, they have shut down hundreds of Christian house churches, seized Bibles and forced e-commerce retailers to stop selling Bibles, prevented children from attending church in some areas, urged Christians in one location to replace posters of Jesus with pictures of President Xi Jinping, and raided church meetings and interrogated hundreds of Christians from one congregation.

To avoid becoming targets in the government campaign, many congregations are meeting in smaller groups in person and online.

“We are trying to look more like a family that are here to chat and drink tea so no one will report us to the police,” Enoch, a 22-year-old Christian in southern China, said.

“I’m really afraid it will be shut down one day,” said Enoch, who converted to Christianity three years ago. “At the state church, I felt like I was listening to a lecture. But at the family church, people know about each other and love each other.”

According to the Associated Press, experts said Presiden Xi is “waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.”

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

The Satanic Temple is warning Mississippi that it will pursue a lawsuit against the state if it puts the phrase “In God We Trust” on its flag. Recently, Republican Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a law to change the state flag in order to remove the Confederate battle flag, which has long been on the […]

Less than two weeks after the “ring of fire” summer solstice eclipse, Earth had another significant eclipse on a historical date. A lunar eclipse happened on July 4th, America’s Independence Day, and some believe it a sign of something much more sinister. Lunar eclipses typically happen two weeks after or before a solar eclipse. They […]

Jenna Ellis, one of President Trump’s attorneys, garnered a lot of attention on Twitter this week after stating she was in fear of the “cancel culture” and the Democrats coming after Christianity. The lawyer said in a Tweet, “I’m going on record now: If they try to cancel Christianity, if they try to force me […]

This Saturday, June 21st, the world is will see a rare “ring of fire” solar eclipse. This happens with the moon partially obscures our view of the sun, allowing a perfect ring of light to escape the edges. It occurs when the moon is furthest away from the earth in its orbit, and therefore appears […]