To unfamiliar Christians, China portrays itself as a free country. But Chinese Christians know better.
Earlier this month, a commission from the World Council of Churches done a “historic” revisit to China. There, they toured churches and distinguished news that within the lifetimes, China will be home to some-more Christians than any other republic on earth. And that’s true.
The Council’s secretary ubiquitous voiced awe at the government-approved churches he was shown, and at their strech among Chinese adults of all ages. Present were member of the state-controlled denominations, the Chinese Christian Council, and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.
But noticeably absent was anyone from China’s sepulchral house-church movement, which by some estimates accounts for 80 percent of Chinese Christians.
If this strikes you as fishy, congratulations—your sniffer is entirely functional. The government-run churches World Council members were shown are the eremite homogeneous of China’s scandalous “Potemkin villages.” These apartments and condo complexes, selling malls and even cities are assembled by the state and state-backed speculators mostly as a show for foreigners. They demeanour good from a distance, but get closer and they’re spook towns—all façade and no substance.
Likewise, behind this façade of friendship toward Christianity, China in fact has a much opposite policy toward the faith. Of the country’s 60 million believers, the infancy ceremony outward of the law. And when they’re caught, the consequences can be severe.
Earlier this month, Chinese paramilitary police literally dynamited one of the country’s largest devout churches, where some 50,000 people went to worship. Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi range was allegedly sheltered as room for years, and has had before run-ins with the law. Back in 2009, authorities confiscated Bibles from the church and detained several of its leaders.
This time, they wanted to finish the job, and did so by stuffing the church’s refuge with explosives and blowing it sky-high. Images of the building coming down are distressing, but they’re a much some-more accurate picture of comrade China’s opinion toward Christianity.
Golden Lampstand was only the latest victim of this new fight on Christians. In December, officials demolished a Catholic church in a circuitously province, and President Xi Jinping’s supervision has spent years ripping crosses from the steeples of unrecognized churches around the country.
Back in September, China upheld new eremite regulations to forestall supposed “extremism.” An researcher from Open Doors described the regulations as partial of the government’s try to control and “Sinicize”—that is, describe some-more Chinese—“every aspect of Christian life—be it culture, news, or religion.”
And adding insult to injury, the supervision just days ago threatened the law licenses of several Chinese lawyers for fortifying associate Christians who were arrested on trumped-up “cult” charges.
China, says the New York Times, is on “a campaign that reflects the Communist Party’s longstanding fear that Christianity, noticed as a Western philosophy, is a hazard to the party’s authority.”
This new harm harkens back to a some-more brutal era, and bodes ill for the millions of brothers and sisters who exclude to ceremony as their supervision dictates. Our own supervision should pronounce up.
But first, the universe needs to comprehend that the Chinese Communist Party’s show of friendship toward Christianity is just that—a show—one eventually as dull as its selling malls.
China’s Faith-Friendly Facade: What They Don’t Want You to Know
Find out some-more about the Christian brothers and sisters in China–check out the links in the Resources section.