The story below concerns evangelical Protestant churches, but the Chinese Orthodox Church is also in a difficult position, as it is not one of the Christian groups recognized by the Chinese government. Holy Orthodoxy has a three-hundred year history in China, with the first Orthodox Christians coming into the country in 1685. The Church grew slowly and steadily there, but was almost wiped out during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. In the 1980s, however, the Chinese Orthodox Church began to experience a revival. Chinese authorities state as their reason for this that they fear “outside interference” entering the country via the Church, but this lack of recognition leaves Orthodox Christians in China vulnerable.
The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, requests that the Chinese government grant official recognition to the Chinese Orthodox Church, and full religious freedom to all the Christians of that nation.
“Chinese Communists Burn Crosses, Bibles; Force Christians to Sign Papers Renouncing Faith (VIDEO),” by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, September 10, 2018:
Chinese Communist officials have been burning Bibles and forcing Christians to sign papers renouncing their faith, as part of their ongoing crackdown on religion.
ChinaAid President Bob Fu, whose group monitors the persecution of believers in the world’s most populous country, shared last week on Twitter a video captured by activists that depicts the burning of Bibles.
“CCP starts burning the Bible and crosses in Henan. Last time burning Bibles campaign happened in late 1960s by dictator Chairman Mao’s wife Jiang Qing in Shanghai. She was arrested in 1976 but Christians grew to millions. Will Never be successful,” Fu wrote.
Fox News noted that besides the burning of Bibles and taking down of crosses, authorities lately have also been forcing Christians to sign papers where they reject their faith, or else risk being expelled from school or lose welfare benefits.
Fu explained that the government is attempting to “Sinicize” religion by infusing it with nationalistic principles and demanding loyalty to the atheist Communist Party.
“The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” Fu said.
The crackdown on believers and on churches has been going on for years. Reuters reported on the latest development on Sunday, where one of the largest unofficial Protestant churches in Beijing was banned, with officials confiscating “illegal promotional materials.”…