ICC Note: The fear of foreign influences is nothing new to China, and President Xi’s call for religions in China to be loyal to the government is not new either. We need to pray that Christians in China will be able to demonstrate good citizenship without compromising their primary allegiance to God, especially in light of growing persecution in China, often at the hands of government representatives.
By William Ide
05/22/2015 China (Voice of America) Chinese President Xi Jinping this week asked religious groups to pledge their loyalty to the state and warned that religions in China must be independent of foreign influence. At a time when China’s Christians now outnumber the membership of the Communist Party, some say there is an intensifying crackdown on religious groups.
China’s Communist Party is officially atheist and has long seen religion as a threat to its rule.
Chinese citizens are barred from attending religious services with foreigners, and missionary work is banned. China also rejects foreign appointments at churches, such as those made by the Vatican.
But despite all the controls, religious belief is spreading. There are an estimated 100 million Christians, more than the total membership of the Communist Party. Among Communist Party members too, there is a surge of interest in Buddhism and other beliefs.