The Chinese government is ramping-up its persecution of Christians — but believers are standing strong against Communist repression.
For example, in Wenzhou, sometimes called “the Jerusalem of China” because of its high concentration of Christians; “Communist Party authorities have demolished scores of churches and forcibly removed more than 300 church crosses. Chinese church leadersÂ sayÂ it’s “the worst anti-Christian crackdown in decades.”
Christians are blocking government forces from attempting to destroy their churches, even though believers defending their churches are being beaten and dragged to jail.
What’s striking is that despite the despotic government’s best efforts, Christian faith in China is growing. According to Purdue University Prof. Fenggang Yang, “in a few years China will have more Christians than Communist Party members, which stood at more than 85 million in the last count.
And in just 15 years, ChinaÂ could overtake the U.S.Â as the country with largest Christian population in the world.”
Many observers believe the Chinese government is fighting a losing battle; longtime international religious liberty advocate Doug Bandow recently noted that “Open Doors most recently ranked Beijing atÂ No. 37 of 50Â on its World Watch List, but China was in the top 10 only a decade ago.”
Advocates for religious liberty in China are also encouraged. One, Phil Sheldon,Â said earlier this year, “I have seen and heard Christianity expressed in public.
I have been in restaurants with Christian music playing. I was moved to tears the first time I heard a real Christmas carol proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord in English, coming through the background music loud and clear.
I have seen people sitting out in public, witnessing over a dog-eared, well-marked Bible.”
Bottom line: The Chinese government is attempting to contain a movement far too dynamic to be held down.
The irony, of course, is that committed Christians make the best citizens of all. Let’s pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters, for their protection, courage, and continued remarkable testimony for their Lord and ours.
We must also put feet to our prayers and continue to pressure our government to speak out on behalf of persecuted Christians whether they are in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Sudan.