Communist Officials in China Harassing, Arresting Christians on a Regular Basis
I’ve been speaking for some time about how blessed Christians in the United States are. We are free to gather and worship with no worry or governmental interference.
I’ve also said that if the greatest attack on the American church is a coffee shop putting “Happy Holidays” on a cup, rather than “Merry Christmas,” then we have nothing to stress about.
We are not oppressed.
And yes, I do realize that leftists and humanists in this nation often attempt to challenge Christianity’s place in the public square, through lawsuits, shaming, and other misguided machinations. That is to their detriment.
They know not what they do.
Recent court cases have affirmed the First Amendment right of Christians. We have options. We can walk into a church any time the doors are open and pray. Nobody blinks an eye.
We can organize public rallies and prayer meetings, to pray for our communities and our nation. We can do this and there is no chance of government officials coming to take us away in chains. We’re not being pressured to sign on with a state-approved “religion.”
We’re not China.
The Christian Post is reporting that a Christian church in Guangzhou, Guangdong was the target of government harassment, recently, when thirty members of China’s Communist government broke in and levied heavy fines against the church for “illegally gathering.” The pastor of the church was also arrested in the incident.
“20-30 government officials broke in (to Bible Reformed Church) while I was delivering my sermon and asked us to stop gathering. They also ordered us to submit our ID cards,” Pastor Huang Xiaoning told ChinaAid, describing the June 10 incident.
Communist authorities are arguing that the building used for worship violated Article 41 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs, namely that it was not registered with the state.
Huang and three others were held and interrogated. The church was also fined what amounts to $7,685.45 in American currency.
Many Chinese Christians choose to meet in underground “house” churches, as they attempt to worship without fear of being bullied by the overreach of the Chinese government.
These are people hungry for the Word of God, so they risk it.
Pastor Huang went on to say that the Communist authorities have tried for years to crack down on his congregation, in order to pressure them to join up with the state-authorized “Three-Self Churches” network.
Another name for the Three-Self Church network is the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). It is a network of about 60,000 churches, and given its principles, is no actual Christian church, at all, but allegiance to the Communist Party and China above anything else.
The “Three-self” portion consists of “self-governance,” “self-propagation,” and “self-support.”
For instance, the Communist Party determines who can preach and how many people can be baptized each year.
Also, preaching the resurrection or return of Jesus is forbidden. Preaching against religions that deny the deity of Christ is forbidden. Preaching against abortion is forbidden. There is no teaching that atheist Communists who die go to Hell, or that Communists are kept from Heaven. Printing Bibles is forbidden. Evangelizing is forbidden.
Government officials, teachers, police officers, and children are forbidden to be Christian.
That is the Three-Self Church network.
Pastor Huang spoke further.
“I’ve been a pastor for nearly 20 years,” Huang explained.
“I don’t [own] a car or a house. I don’t owe anything. A while ago [people] asked me, ‘Pastor Huang, aren’t you afraid of being fined?’ I answered, ‘No, I don’t have any money for them to confiscate.’ They also asked, “Aren’t you afraid of being imprisoned?’ I said that I never feared imprisonment, since I never even feared death.”
This is just what it is to be a Christian in China. Open Doors USA, a watch group that monitors Christian persecution in the world, as well as providing support for the world’s persecuted believers, has China listed as #43 in the top 50 worst persecutors of the faithful.
North Korea holds the #1 position, and has for several decades. Not surprisingly, just as it is with China, Communism and atheism are the factors behind the persecution.
In May, a pastor was detained and 200 Christians were taken away by authorities while attempting to hold a worship service in Chengdu, China, in memory of the 70,000 or so people who died during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
As The New York Times reported at the time, Protestant pastor Wang Yi and his Autumn Rain Blessing Church saw their service for the victims shut down, with officials stifling “any unapproved commemorations” of the tragedy.
Other pastors, such as Pastor Yang Hua of Living Stone Church, who was released earlier this month, have suffered torture and say they were falsely imprisoned for years.
When you weigh out our current troubles with those of nations under true persecution, there really is no comparison.
Pray for the persecuted church.