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ICC Note: China is not as open to Christian worship as some have been led to believe. Hundreds of Chinese Christians are in ‘re-education through labor’ camps and scores of Christians have been tortured or executed by police. Please pray that the injustice done to Christians is exposed and the government is forced to confront this issue by the international community. Pray especially for the safety of the believers in China and for strength and courage for those who are serving time in labor camps.

Persecution of Christians in China

The Conservative Voice (8/18/06) – According to New York Times’ Nicholas D. Kristof, Christians worship freely in some places in China . In other places they are terribly persecuted.

Reporting from Zhongxiang, Kristof gives a real-life account: “She never broke when she was tortured with beatings and electrical shocks, and even when she was close to death she refused to disclose the names of members of her congregation or sign a statement renouncing her Christian faith.”

“But now, months later, Ma Yuqin abruptly chokes and her eyes well with tears as she recounts her worst memory: As she was being battered in one room, her son was tortured in the next so that each could hear the other’s screams, as encouragement to betray their church.

“’They wanted me to hear his cries,’ she said, sobbing. ‘It broke my heart.’

“Ms. Ma, a steel-willed woman of 54, was brave enough to tell her story of the persecution that Christians sometimes still face in China . Dozens of members of her church are still imprisoned, and those free are under tight scrutiny, but several church members dared to meet me for a tense interview after we all sneaked one by one into an unwatched farmhouse near Zhongxiang, a city in central China , 650 miles south of Beijing .”

Granted: there is the modern China . But there is also the “police state China .” The latter is out to hurt and extinguish Christians from the country. The happy-face China image of Bibles sold in the marketplace is one scene. But the damaged and crippled bodies of believers elsewhere is just as much a part of present-day China .

It was to that segment that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke on her recent Asian tour. I am sure that as Secretary of State of this powerful nation, America , she is privy to specifics that the usual citizen cannot lay eyes on. I then would trust her judgment concerning freedom in China or lack of freedom in China , particularly freedom to worship.

The New York Times reports continues: “Secret Communist Party documents say approvingly that 60,000 Chinese were killed, either executed or shot by police while fleeing, between 1998 and 2001. That amounts to 15,000 a year, which suggests that 97 percent of the world’s executions take place in China . And it’s well documented that scores of Christians . . . have died in police custody.”

In other words, China is not as open to Christian worship as some have been led to believe.

According to the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, China has “the two state-sanctioned churches (Catholic Patriotic Assoc., Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement) (which) are tightly controlled by the Religious Affairs Bureau of the Chinese government. Members of unregistered house churches are being prosecuted. Hundreds of Chinese Christians are in ‘re-education through labor’ camps.” [Go To Full Story]