Shandong authorities target Christians in illegal publications crackdown

Friday, May 4, 2018

Authorities raid a house church in this
undated photo. (Photo: ChinaAid)

(Jining, Shandong—May 4, 2018) Persecution in China’s eastern Shandong province escalated recently as authorities used an anti-pornography and illegal publications campaign to wrongly target at least five house churches and also ordered that students report their religious beliefs.

According to the government’s official website, the operation is intended to curb pornography and illegal publications. However, local law enforcement joined forces with the ethnic and religious affairs bureau and assigned more than 10 officials to inspect purely religious material circulated among Christian churches, including Hongshan Temple, Xingguo Temple in Yishan, Wanzhao Temple, and other religious gathering points throughout Jining.

Officials also claim that they investigated all religious venues, but a local Christian said, “Most of the Buddhist temples have a long history, and the government never intended to target them. The government is actually hostile towards Christian churches … The church members feel helpless.”

During their visit to these churches, the authorities confiscated more than 1,100 copies of alleged “illegal” publications and disks.

Additionally, the local Ministry of Education and religious affairs bureau issued a notice requiring elementary school teachers to send out the Students’ Religious Beliefs Questionnaire, the Religious Backgrounds of Teachers and Students (Form 1), and the Guard Against the Infiltration of Christian Missionaries in Schools (Form 2). The teachers were told to submit both electronic and hard copy versions of the aforementioned documents no later than 11 a.m. on April 28. Should they miss the deadline or fail to report truthfully, they were told they would be held responsible.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Christians in Shandong, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team
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