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ICC Note: The Chinese government continues to be a serious threat to underground Christians. This story is just a reminder of that

Religious Freedom Group Reports Rising Persecution of Chinas Christians

12/20/06 China (AgapePress) – A new report finds that nearly 2,000 house church pastors and Christians have been arrested in China in the past year. And, according to a report by the China Aid Association, many of those arrested were abused and tortured during their time in jail.

Bob Fu, president of the Texas-based China Aid Association, says Chinese government officials often impose severe restrictions on the activities of Christians. For instance, he notes, “They are forbidden to baptize anyone under 18 years old and to preach to anyone outside the four walls of their registered church building.”

The China Aid Association investigates Christian persecution in that communist nation. The most recent report from the watchdog group shows that detention and arrests of believers in China are on the rise. Meanwhile, government officials continue to close down unapproved religious sites and to impose restrictions on the movements, contacts, visits, and correspondence of Christians.

In the past year alone, Fu points out, “One thousand, nine hundred and fifty-eight Chinese Christian pastors and believers were arrested, and many of them were tortured and abused.” He says evangelism of minors is forbidden, as is membership in any unofficial church body — that is, any not recognized by the Communist Chinese government, such as the unregistered house churches.

The China Aid Association urges concerned individuals to join its advocacy efforts on behalf of persecuted house church Christians by praying for them, writing letters on their behalf to U.S. and Chinese government officials, and sharing information with others to spread awareness of the plight of the unofficial church in China . The ministry also encourages donors to give generously in support of its work.

Agape Press