Persecution of Christians in China: there is a line in this report that is simply chilling. “Beijing has been targeting official and unofficial church buildings without all the permits in order, leaving no room for a pardon solution.” This means that the government is not just moving against churches and Christian organizations that do not have official government recognition, but is waging all-out war against the Christian faithful, and official recognition from the government is essentially meaningless.
This is a matter of grave concern not only for China’s Catholic and Protestant churches, but for the tiny community of Orthodox Christians in China. The Chinese government has not granted Orthodox Christianity any official status, and in any case, this article makes it clear that official status is no guarantee of protection. The Orthodox churches in China could be closed at any time at the whim of local officials, and Orthodox Christians taken into custody. This is yet another instance of the persecution of Christians by governing officials that is unfortunately on the increase not only in China, but in all too many other nations around the world.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.
“Hebei Official Church To Be Demolished,” International Christian Concern, November 1, 2019:
11/01/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – The parishioners and priests of the diocese of Handan (Hebei province) have occupied the church of Wu Gao Zhang (Guan Tao district) to stop its demolition decreed by the government since this morning. Though the priests tried to negotiate with the authorities, it was useless, Asia News reports.
While Wu Gao Zhang’s church is officially recognized, the government’s decision to destroy it is allegedly motivated by the fact that it does not have all the necessary permits, after the implementation of revised religious regulations last year.
Beijing has been targeting official and unofficial church buildings without all the permits in order, leaving no room for a pardon solution. But even if the churches have permit and are state-sanctioned, they could still be subject to demolition, as President Xi Jinping tightens his grip on religion.
The Sino-Vatican secret deal signed in September 2018 does nothing to protect these churches. According to several local Catholics, the agreement actually grants more power to the government authorities, which claim that “the Vatican supports us” and keeps silence on these episodes. According to parishioners of the diocese of Handang, the government has decreed the destruction of 40 other churches…
In recent weeks, the churches of Jian and Fizhou have been closed in the Diocese of Yujiang (Jiangxi); in the Diocese of Fuzhou (Fujian), sacred buildings were also closed in Fuqin and Changle.
Photo by Fanghong – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3932093