BEIJING – Over the last several months, the Chinese government has dramatically increased its persecution and oppression of Christians, often without cause and with the motivation to instill fear of the Communist government.
Recently an anonymous social media post went viral among Chinese Christians, as it succinctly summarized in 18 sentences the circumstances churches in China are now facing. Here are those 18 points:
- Youth fellowships have been banned and students are told to take down “cross” pictures hanging on the walls at home.
- The government, along with two state-sanctioned Christian organizations (Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the China Christian Council), is carrying out a project wherein officials and officers are assigned to different neighborhoods to collect information of the attendees in both Three-Self churches and house churches. Subsequently, every Christian will get a permit to enter the church.
- Every lawful church has had monitors installed for surveillance.
- Proclaiming and preaching the Gospel has been banned.
- Who should preach, along with when and where preaching should take place, must be scheduled. Non-locals should not be invited to speak at revival conferences.
- Government officials should be “anointed” as ministers and control offerings and tithes given by Christians.
- Christians are required to sing the national anthem and raise the national flag during church services. In addition, the sermon should center around the key message from the 19th National Congress. The spiritual slogans hung on the wall in churches should be taken down.
- Christianity and other religions should collaborate to create a harmonious society.
- Civil servants are prohibited from believing in Christianity; CCP members are forbidden from worshiping at church.
- The sermon of a preacher should be approved. Churches are banned from having any contact with people abroad.
- Christian-themed couplet banners have been banned. Tiles with biblical verses at any household’s gate should be torn off.
- Only Sunday services are lawful. Gatherings and fellowships on other days have been banned.
- Churches should not have interactions with each other.
- Christian teachers will not be allowed to retire if they volunteer at church.
- In a Three-Self Church, non-Christians should talk about science, medicine, poverty, laws, and traditions before a preacher speaks at the service.
- Children under 18 are not allowed to enter church. Sunday school should be canceled. Teachers need to find out why students believe in Jesus.
- All crosses in Three-Self Churches and house churches should be removed.
- Chinese Union Version Bibles have been pulled from online stores. Churches have started to use a new version of the Bible and Bibles that align with the Communist Party agenda.