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Christian Today: China sees sevenfold increase in persecution against Christians

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

By Harry Farley 
24 May 2016

■ Persecution against Christians in China has increased sevenfold since 2008, according to the latest report by China Aid.

The Texas-based charity paints a damning picture of religious freedom in China as it describes the state's attempt to take control of the nation's churches.

The Chinese government wants to replace "Christ as the head of the church with submission to the Communist Party", the report read, alleging that more Christians are harassed, beaten and tortured than ever before.

The province of Zheijang has been hit particularly hard by the crackdown, said the report. "By the end of 2015, more than 20 churches had been forcibly demolished, 1,300 crosses removed, more than 500 Christians taken into police custody, at least 130 Christians physically injured, more than 60 Christians administratively or criminally detained, and at least 28 pastors and Christians arrested or charged with a crime" in this one province alone.

China Aid said 90 per cent of church crosses in Zhejiang had
been forcibly removed.
China Aid
Last year the Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a major speech on religion in which he argued the "management of religion is in essence the management of the masses". According to the report, this speech coincided with the most intense year of persecution since the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.

The report comes months after Xi came to the UK on a state visit in an attempt to improve trade relations between the UK and China.

Release International, a partner charity of China Aid, has urged David Cameron to use Britain's relationship with Xi to push for religious freedom in China. "In all conscience, Britain cannot put trade before human rights," said Paul Robinson, a spokesman for the charity.

"Release urges Christians in the UK to stand in solidarity with our Chinese brothers and sisters, and those in other nations where churches have been demolished," he said.


China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org


"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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