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Christians in Hong Kong face constant threats in preaching a gospel of freedom in China, an authoritative Communist regime.

News that China has enacted new security legislation over Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous city, is raising concerns for a significant Christian persecution watchdog group.

China recently passed “national security” legislation, which targets cracking down on sedition and other subversive acts against the Communist government in Beijing, Christian Post reports.

It also allows for Chinese state security agencies to operate in the city. There are concerns that many in Hong Kong will experience a loss of autonomy and civil liberties that have existed since 1997, Christian Post also reports.

David Curry, CEO of the Christian persecution watchdog group, Open Doors USA, has been concerned about the “strong influence of China on media censorship,” since he traveled to Hong Kong last year.

“That paired with strong military presence raises my concerns that the people of Hong Kong are losing the independence they have previously known,” Curry told The Christian Post.

Curry thinks the moves taken by China toward Hong Kong were part of a plan “to exert control over the entire region if the western world doesn’t speak up on behalf of the citizens of Hong Kong.”

He also shared with the Christian Post that he found the new measures troubling, both for the general population and the city’s Christian community.

“It’s concerning, when you consider how much surveillance and pressure is being put on the church of China, to see Hong Kong Christians facing these same restrictions,” said Curry.

“We are very concerned by China’s restrictions on religious liberty and human rights. I believe that China is rapidly developing, implementing, and exporting a blueprint of persecution that will drive further restrictions on the free practice of faith throughout the region and even the world.”

The Open Door’s USA Watch List examines the pressures faced by Christians in five spheres of life, including private, family, community, national and church, plus levels that were motivated by violence. Based on the specific criteria used, approximately 215 million Christians experience high, very high, or extreme persecution.

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