Huge rise in persecution of Christians in China since 2008

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The last seven years have seen a seven-fold rise in the persecution of Christians in China, according to a report by China Aid. The report claims China is seeking “complete control over the nation’s churches” with the aim of replacing “Christ as the head of the church with submission to the Communist Party”. To that end, China has increased its crackdown on Christians, especially house churches.

China has a long history of attempting to bring the rapidly growing church under the control of the atheist state and since the downturn in the Chinese economy, which has revealed yawning inequalities, the State has been cracking down on Christians and others for fear of unrest. Over the last nine years the arrest and harassment of Christians in China has been rising. And while fewer Christians are being sent to jail, more are being harassed, beaten and even tortured.

In one province, Zheijang, “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.”

This includes the arrest of human rights lawyers for mounting a legal campaign against the tearing down of hundreds of Christian crosses from churches. Among them, leading Christian lawyer Zhang Kai, who was forced to confess publicly on television to crimes against the state.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in China.

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