Persecution that is rarely covered in the Western media is happening in China. In Zhejiang province, the government has been trying to take crosses off the churches. These churches are the few that are allowed to operate in China. Christians have been standing vigil every day/night to ensure that their church remains intact. On the 32nd night, June 21, 2014, 400 police officers attacked the Christians. Many were injured. The cross still remains however.
|Photo from International Christian Concern FB post|
Crosses aren’t the only problem. The government is demolishing
churches, detaining pastors/workers, and wreaking havoc on the Christian
community. Christians are also being imprisoned on false charges.
In Zhejiang Province, in April alone, 10 churches were destroyed, house churches were given notices to stop meeting, and 10 crosses were removed from churches. In addition, government officials are being required to submit belief statements that are used to harass the families of believers.
ChinaAid reports that over 160 churches have been persecuted against since the start of this persecution campaign. These are the churches that have been established legally, through the Chinese system. This number does not include the groups meeting in secret.
|From International Christian Concern FB page. On
April 28th, the Sanjiang Christian Church, the 4,000-seat church was
bulldozed by the government. An anti-cross/church campaign has been
carried out in Zhejiang Province, China, and covered under the guise of
following the code, “Rectifying and Removing Illegal Construction.” The
government claimed that Sanjiang Christian Church was illegal and had to
be removed. Christians in Wenzhou formed blockade to prevent government
officials from demolition of the $4.8 million church. However, on
April 28th, the government forcibly bulldozed the building.
China’s Imprisoned Christians
Gong Shengliang – He has been imprisoned since 2001. On July 3, his daughter said his health was rapidly deteriorating due to lack of health care after a stroke. This stroke left him paralyzed on the left side, unable to speak, and drooling from the mouth. He, along with four other pastors, were condemned to death under China’s anti-cult legislation. Due to international pressure, the death convictions were dropped. However, they were charged and sentenced for rape after “police tortured female members of his church into testifying that he had raped them.”
His daughter said this in an interview. “When he got a checkup on November 26 2013, the doctor said my father’s
illness was very serious. He was having cerebral infraction, and related
symptoms known as encephalatrophy, brain lesions and leukoaraiosis,
Gao Zhisheng – He is set to be released on probation August 7th, but there are serious doubts that his release will actually occur. In 2006, Chinese rights defense lawyer Gao Zhisheng was convicted of
“inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to three years in
prison with five years’ probation. His wife and children are in the United States because of the persecution they faced in China. International Christian Concern has called for prayer that his release will be granted as promised.