The Brutal Truth About Persecution of Christians in China

Sinicization of Christianity

By Michael Brown Published on September 18, 2018

In recent months, there have been increasingly disturbing reports about the persecution of Christians in China. Last week, I received some firsthand information from very reliable friends who have lived in China for years. The news is not good at all.

After much research, these friends informed me that there were over 240,000 recorded examples of persecution in China in 2017, up from roughly 48,000 in 2016. This represents a very concerning spike in hostile activity.

According to my friends, “The government wants the world to see that China has reformed since the days of Mao. But there are other aspects of communism that that they do not want us to see. It isn’t just about how the economy works.”

Specifically, “By 2020, the Communist Party will attempt to monitor its citizens through a massive surveillance system called China Skynet.

“China’s Skynet combines mobile phone GPS tracking, text message collection, 170 million security cameras, to make sure everyone is harmonious to make sure no one does anything illegal.

“China also controls the media.  There is the state-run media but private networks are censored. So, while China, today, barely resembles the Communist State of the 1950s and 1960s in terms of economic structure, it still retains almost all if the other aspects of Communism.: state control, censorship and mass surveillance.”

The 14-Year-Plan

According to the detailed report sent to me, the government has implemented a three-phase, 14-year plan:

“During the first 2-year phase, 2012-2014, it further eased persecution of the underground church, enticing more of them to surface and be identified.” (This would correspond with the time I was in China at the invitation of Franklin Graham. See here for my reflections.)            

“During the second 2-year phase, 2014-2016, it invited and then pressured the identified underground churches to register and become Three-Self government churches.                                                               

“In the current third, 10-year phase, the gloves have come off as both the remaining underground churches and even Three Self churches are being persecuted using Mao-era brute-force, as well as mass surveillance, artificial intelligence, and big data.”

The Persecution

What, exactly, has been taking place? According to the report:

  • Over 2,000 crosses already have been burned or ripped down from church buildings.
  • Many churches have been demolished.
  • Thousands of pastors already have been arrested, beaten, tortured and/or sentenced to years in prison.
  • By 2020, 600 million CCTV cameras – nearly one for every 2 Chinese citizens – will blanket China. They are being forcibly installed inside church buildings to record 24/7 the entrances, stairwells, offering boxes, and Bible counters to monitor who attends church, buys Bibles, and where those Bibles are taken.
  • The Chinese government’s new “social credit system” has begun to assign social credit scores to its citizens for not loitering, not jaywalking and other compliant behaviors, which eventually will include not attending “illegal” underground churches.
  • Chinese Christians will only be able to purchase the Communism-friendly version of the Bible that the Communist Party is presently translating.
  • In February of 2018, the Chinese Communist Party also drastically increased its penalties and restrictions targeted against Christians. The government will also tighten up control over religious activities in schools, religious postings online, and trips overseas for religious training.
  • Recently, the State Council endorsed the penalties, adding that anybody providing a venue for an “illegal religious event” will face a fine of between 20,000 yuan ($2,900.00 USD) and 200,000 yuan ($29,000.00 USD).

Also, in September of 2017, the Chinese government announced that: “Anyone who organizes an unapproved religious event will be fined 100,000 to 300,000 Yuan ($14,500 USD to $43,500 USD).” And, “Anyone who rents or provides the venue for such an event will be fined 20,000 to 200,000 Yuan ($2,900 to $29,000 USD).”

In addition to this, there are nationwide efforts to exalt the rule of President Xi (this has been reported in the west as well; see here), even in Mao-like terms. Xi has said that religion must be guided by the party to adapt to socialist society, and with that, the government-run churches have announced plans for the “Sinicization of Christianity.” Specifically, this refers to “bending Christianity to submit to the will of the Chinese Communist Party.”

What Church Leaders are Doing

In light of this ongoing crackdown on religious freedom in China, house church leaders are going back to underground practices and decentralizing their meetings. But the arm of the Chinese government is very strong, as a result of which my friends received this heart-rending letter from some of their Chinese colleagues (I have changed or removed names for obvious reasons):

Things are getting tighter here now, everywhere is facing persecution now. Brothers and sisters are facing difficulties and suffering for their faith. My sister and her husband along with three others were put in jail for their gathering together with about 30 people and their stuff has been taken way with a few big trucks. They were beaten and shocked by the electronic sticks with head bleeding and arms in painful position. David their son saw what happened and cried and fainted there when it happened.

“We visited them four days after they were in jail. They were sick; my sister almost had a heart attack and her husband had gout which almost killed him. They were suffering physically and mentally.

They were released after 10 days and told by local authorities they had to leave their city and district. All this for holding Christian meetings in China.

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I’m aware that China can give the appearance of allowing religious freedom, and I’ve been told that the situation varies from province to province.

But what is clear is that millions of our brothers and sisters in that vast and important country are really suffering. Let us pray for them and for their government. And let’s ask our government to address this humanitarian crisis today.

This is the very least we can do.

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  • lighthouseseeker

    Broken hearted for their pain.

  • Paul

    It is my hope that any thinking person will see how this works… govt fears something is undermining their power; govt says it is OK but you must register; govt uses the registry to crush those they fear.

    Next time gun control is in the news cycle please remember how this works.

  • What the Chinese government doesn’t know is attacking the Church will only break themselves. This is the beginning of the end of communism there, the people will not stand for them cracking down on worship.

    stalin did the same when he got sick later in life. There was almost another revolution to oust the communists because of it. stalin “died in his sleep” shortly after and his successor made sure to re-legalize going to Church.

    • Trilemma

      Do you approve of the Chinese government destroying protestant churches?

      • Nothing the Chinese government will do to them that they did not do to themselves or real Churches with iconoclasm. Call it irony.

        I am talking about what China is doing to Christians, specifically to the Church.

        • Trilemma

          The churches being destroyed are probably churches that are not approved by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Does it concern you that your fellow Christians are being persecuted?

          • you mean actual Catholic Churches and not communist ones. It does concern me, and it makes you giddy because you think your new world order is soon.

          • Trilemma

            Good. It sounded like you weren’t concerned that your Christian brothers in Baptist churches were having their churches destroyed.

          • heretics are not brothers of mine, though it is ironic they are now dealing with their successors persecuting then like they did to the Church.

            The only thing you care about is that the persecution continues in the hopes it pushes your nwo

          • Trilemma

            Does it concern you if it’s Baptist churches that are being destroyed or are they just getting what they deserve?

          • I said it is ironic. Back in the day, they were doing these things to Churches (actual Churches). Now the communists, who are just a very advanced stage of the self-worship brought by the prot heresy, are doing it to them.

          • Trilemma

            I know you think it’s ironic. Does it concern you if it’s Baptist churches being destroyed?

          • Sure, of course it does. Why does it concern you? This is what you want.

  • Patmos

    And so many in the US have propped this up, are propping this up. It’s sick, and along the same lines of propping up the Palestinians with aid. At some point you need to say to these people, “Look, what you’re doing isn’t working, and isn’t right. You can change, and we will help you, but we’re not going to help keep your insanity alive.”

  • tz1

    But MUH free trade! It doesn’t matter if they kill falun gong for their organs in transplant tourism, may have killed more babies via abortion (and infanticide!) via their one child policy, unlike Iran, or Syria, or Russia, the Chinese are really nice people and we need free trade and can’t sanction them over their peccadilloes.

    I’m not sure whether I should weep or merely yawn over the fecklessness of the lukewarm “christians” that don’t care about 60 million dead babies here, where any mention of Christ or the Gospel in School is banned while muslims are part of lesson plans, or worse and the evil wars of aggression that finally destroyed 20 century old Christian communities in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt and the rest of the Middle east – what Islam couldn’t do, the USA managed to. Oh, look! China!…

    • Jim

      The U.S.didn’t destroy the Christisn communities in the Mideast. The Muslims did.

      • tz1

        After the US removed the secular dictators which protected the Christians

    • Qnon

      They over turned there one child policy. Sometimes we must make deals with despicable countries to get stuff done. And they didn’t ban the bible in my school . Although I do agree that Christendom is in a sorry state because it’s sold out for money and power.

      • tz1

        Maybe we should instead have allied with Hitler and Tojo against Stalin.

        • Qnon

          That would of been worse because the nazi’s would of killed millions more people in the slavic nations of Eastern Europe .They wanted to kill off most of Eastern Europe

  • Trilemma

    When are Christian’s going to boycott China and stop buying stuff China makes like iPhones?

    • Paul

      Is there a phone that doesn’t have parts from China?

      • Trilemma

        No, but some phones have less content from China than others such as Blackberry and HTC.

        • Paul

          Yea, I didn’t think so. In the midst of globalism it gets quite challenging to boycott an entire countries products, especially from China

          • Trilemma

            Very true.

          • Qnon

            That is why we got to work out a agreement with Afghanistan . They have the rare earth minerals used to make phones.

          • Trilemma

            That would be a good idea if we don’t take advantage of them. They need something in their economy to take the place of opium production.

          • Qnon

            I agree .

  • Christians in China are doing great things! Go to a Christian church and it is filled up to the rafters.
    Problems arise when churches go outside the observation of the government and begin cult fraud.
    Cults frighten the central government and they should frighten you.
    I’ve lived in China for about the last 15 years and have gone to many churches throughout the country. Christians are cool, shaman magic fraud isn’t.

    • Is that what they tell you goes on in actual Catholic Churches, “comrade?” Could you describe this “shaman magic fraud” that reads like a maoist press release?

      Also, could you tell me what happens to “comrades” when the government you worship has no more use of you?

      • My poor brainwashed flower pot. You watch TV much?
        Shaman magic fraud you can easily find in America bilking elderly out of money so they can buy that new jet Jesus wants the pastor to have. Then there is the $1 bill in the mail scam, do you want to get rich? Pray with me brother, send your money to me, and watch the Lord in action! All under the seal of no taxes.
        Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan shows the wisdom to Jesus’ teaching. “You will know them by their deeds.”

        • And this is what they tell you goes on in underground Churches?

    • Trilemma

      Sounds like the Chinese government is trying to create its state approved church just like the government of the Roman Empire did when it took control of Christianity. The government of the Roman Empire created the Roman Catholic Church version of Christianity dictating its approved doctrines and persecuted all others. The government of China is trying to create its own state approved version of Christianity and persecute all others.

      • The Church was created by God at Pentecost where the Apostles were consecrated as the Bishops of the Church. That would require you to believe in transcendent things like God and Sacraments.

        The idea that the Church is just a nationalist political movement was created by the prot heresy, which unironically a nationalist political movement.

        As marx said, his followers should blame his enemies for whatever the marxist is guilty of. marx’ spiritual predecessor luther had a similar idea.

        • Trilemma

          Okay, the Christian Church was created at Pentecost. But the Roman government created the Catholic Church 300+ years later.

          • No, the Church was created at Pentecost. There is an unbroken line of Apostolic Succession. Also, if the Churh was created in the 300’s, when how do you explain the 300 years of the Catholic Church before the year 300?

          • Jim

            There was no unbroken line of apostolic succession. Peter was not the first pope. I explain 300 years of the Catholic Church before 300AD as revisionist fantasy. No one outside of the Roman Church believes that claptrap because it is made up history to justify Roman Catholic dogma and abuses of power.

          • Then how do you explain the unbroken like of Apostolic Succession and the full 2000 year history of the Church. you can deny it, but what does that do? It just means you refuse to learn what is actually there.

          • Jim

            You can claim it, but that doesn’t make it any less a lie. Read a church history or a secular history that is not the propaganda written by the Roman church. The church of Rome is the only entity that believes the lie of apostolic succession. Jesus did not found the church on Peter, he founded it on Peter’s confession that Jesus was the Messiah. Peter ministered primarily to the Jews, yet the Roman church has hated the Jews from it’s inception under Constantine. Paul would have been a better choice for a pope having written half the New Testament, recieved numerous revelations from God, evangelized most of the Roman Empire and arguably became the theologian who most shaped Christianity in its formative years. Yet, you claim Peter was the pope with no records, no scriptures, not one single witness who referred to him as pope and only 2 small epistles credited to him. Curious.

          • So you want me to read history that is against the Church? So how can I know real history if it’s specific purpose is a political attack against the Church?

            St Peter is the Rock the Church was built on and St Peter is the first Pope. There are Popes going back to him directly. Just like every single Bishop can trace his lineage back to the Apostles.

            This is called Apostloc Succession.

            St Paul was one of the first Bishops of the Church. St Luke would have probably wrote the letters on paper St Paul doctated to him as St Luke was his secretary/physician and St Paul could not see very well due to his injury. St Luke was the Bishop that succeeded St Paul after he was executed. So there is Apostolic Succession in action.

          • Jim

            The problem is the Roman Catholic history which is propaganda. Not that actual scholarship contradicts the church version. The purpose is not a political attack against anything. The purpose is valid, verifiable historical scholarship and the search for truth.
            For instance, provide one contemporary account from the 1st or 2nd century actually referring to anyone as pope. Doesn’t exist. No reference, no pope. Pretty simple. That is history instead of church propaganda.
            You seem to enjoy blindness rather than truth. Good luck with that on judgment day.

          • So you are so desperate you are relying on semantics.

            For a book about the Church but not by a Catholic, try “Bearinf False Withess” by Rodney Stark

          • Jim

            Not desperate. Not relying on semantics. Pointing out truth and reality. No one went to Peter as Catholics do to a pope. He never ruled over anyone. He was married (the Bible says Jesus healed his mother in law of a fever). No one ever referred to him as pope in any early church writings. Like I said, you prefer darkness to light and that is why there is no agreement and can be no agreement. Enjoy your delusion.

          • It would help if you knew what the Church or the Papacy actually is.

          • Jim

            The same could be said for you. You are willfully blind. That is the worst form of blindness.

            I know exactly what the Catholic Church and the papacy is. You are the one who seems confused or deluded. Unlike you, I have actually seen both sides of the issue and found the Catholic arguments severely lacking in evidence, a situation you seem to be unable to remedy. You, I think, know less about your own church than you want to admit.

          • This type of projection you do here is because of despair. Ultimately, your pride making you unable to admit wrongdoing, and therefore hoping this projection absolves you.

            Are you capable from telling right vs wrong or Truth vs error? It seems you will believe anything about the Church you hear, and refuse to look for what the Church actually has to say.

          • Jim

            You rode the short bus to school, didn’t you?
            A man named Dave Gardener used to say, “When the world is wrong, right yourself.” When your official history disagrees with all other unbiased sources with no reason to lie, the problem isn’t their arrogance in refusing to join your cult, it’s your arrogance in refusing to acknowledge the truth. You have produced no evidence that what you claim is true, yet I am to discard the work of hundreds of historians and accept the unverified claims of a church that throws the words of the Bible out when it conflicts wit the pope’s edicts and dogmas? No thanks, and goodluck with dedending that position before God’s judgment seat.

          • God created the Church. The Church in both its forms wrote the Bible.

            you believe the half-bakeed lies of heretics and dishonest historians because you think it will make the Church ignorable.

          • Jim

            You’re on drugs, aren’t you?
            Show me a papal bull or dogma written by Peter. Where was Peter’s cathedral? Present one instance of Peter doing something papal. How about someone writing to Peter addressing him as pope. They don’t exist. That, not heresy is why no one is buying the truckload of manure you are trying to unload. Evidence convinces people, not your fantasy and namecalling.

          • Yet we have an unbroken line of succession to St Peter and every Apostle.

            The office has evolved into where it is, and it did not take long to do so.

          • Jim

            We here in big boy land gave already dispatched your fantasy of apostolic succession. I asked for evidence of that succession and you, apparently having none went back to the same nonsense that is disproven because you gave no evidence. You are practicing curcular reasoning: assuming that you can prove your claim to be true by assuming that it is true,then citing it as evidence to prove the claim. That is a logical fallacy and explains why people are leaving your cult in droves.

          • Denial will not make the truth go away. The Apostolic Succeession is there and is 2000 years long. The Church created everything you take for granted.

            If anyone leaves the Church, it is just weakness leaving. Strength is required as those like yourself are always on the attack,

          • Jim

            Repeated affirmation of a lie like apostolic succession does not turn it magically into truth. You have no desire to live in reality or know the truth. At this point any further attempts to communicate this to you is just casting pearls before swine.

          • I am pointing to what is clearly there.

            you don’t want to see it, and therefore use your satanic voluntarism to claim “I don’t want there to be Apostolic Succession” so there isn’t.

            If there is no Apostolic Succession, then there are no more Sacraments and therefore humanity has lost the only Graces of God that were allowed to us by God adopting 12 Apostles as brothers and Consecrating them as the first Bishops of His Church.

            Clearly, Apostolic Succession is there by both history and the continued presence of Sacraments.

          • Trilemma

            When Rome legalized Christianity, the Roman government took control of Christianity and turned it into the Catholic Church. The Roman government dictated what the official doctrines would be and persecuted anyone who didn’t go along. The Roman government started to introduce pagan things into Christianity such as Sun God worship. That’s why ancient pictures of saints have sun disks behind their heads. The office of the Pope developed gradually and was not fully established until February 19, 607 when Boniface III became Pope.

          • No, the Church was founded by God, not a devil worshiping hegemony.

            The first Pope was St Peter, and we have Popes going all the way back to him.

            Halos represent the pure shining and nature of the soul.

          • Trilemma

            The church founded by God was paganized by Rome. God said do not make graven images and bow down before them when He spoke commandments from the mountain to the Israelites. The Catholic Church is full of graven images such as crucifixes.

            You do not have Popes going all the way back. You have a list of names.

            Constantine added sun disks to images of saints because he worshiped the sun god. A sun disk by any other name is just as pagan.

          • That was a commandment invented by luther to displace the commandment against taking the Lord’s name in vain, because luther always took the Lord’s name in vain.

            Halos show the soul. Moses had one after being so close to God in his meetings with Him.

            It appears anything that is beautiful or anything reminds you of something outside yourself is very dangerous to you.

          • Trilemma

            Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; – Exodus 20:4-5 Douay Rheims Version of the Catholic Bible

            The commandment to not make graven images and to not bow down to them came from God not Luther. The Bible says the face of Moses radiated light. It does not say he had a halo. In all the pictures of people with halos, none of their faces are radiating light.

          • A halo is light behind one’s face, as is shown. your dark master’s halo used to be a crescent moon shape.

          • Trilemma

            The word graven simply means carved or made by humans. A crucifix is an image made by humans and is therefore a graven image no matter how beautiful it is. Making a crucifix and bowing down to it is against the commandment of God.

          • Again, how are Icons equivalent to pagan statues?

            The Cross is the most important thing int he Faith, it appears to be the biggest thing against your inward-looking desires which is why you reject it.

          • Trilemma

            Crucifixes and pagan statues are both man made objects. Neither crucifixes nor pagan statues are god. Bowing down to them is idolatry. The Cross is not the most important thing in the Faith. Making it the most important thing in your faith is idolatry.

          • It is, clearly. It is the most perfect Icon and the most perfect sign of what it important. It is impossible to be self-centered and man-centered when looking upon it.

            That is why you hate it.

      • The government is just afraid of cults. Might I ad, so should you. Cults are evil in structure and are a threat to the family, and harmony in society. Sarin gas in a Japanese subway station should come to mind.
        The Chinese Constitution guarantees freedom on religion. The government is responsible for protecting and putting the stamp of approval on what is, and what isn’t acceptable in their culture.
        China has a rich history in hocus pocus shaman fraud. Mao put an end to it in 1949.
        In essense, Christianity is thriving in China.

        • Trilemma

          If the government will not allow religious cults to exist then it does not allow religious freedom.

          What exactly do these cults believe that makes them evil?

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