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ICC Note:

Communist China has become overwhelmingly strict towards independent religious organizations, especially that of Christianity. There have been more and more restrictions, people being put into prison, people being tortured and killed for their faith, yet, Christianity continues to exponentially grow. China Aid leader mentioned that “the new wave of persecution is a new wave of revival.” It is very attractive to others when Christians maintain their faith even when persecuted. This is especially true of  the authorities who see Christians not descending into self-pity but praying for the people persecuting them. It is important that the Church not only pray for the persecuted, but also the persecutor.  

10/03/2016 China (Life Site News) – The Chinese government plans to implement harsh new regulations intended to suppress independent religious organizations as part of a general and ongoing crusade against the “three evils”— separatism, terrorism, and religious extremism.

But a Christian missionary organization says persecution actually encourages growth. “Absolutely,” Bob Fu of the U.S.-based China Aid organization, which supports the persecuted churches in China, told LifeSiteNews. “What I see with the new wave of persecution is a new wave of revival.”

Emily Fuentes of the Open Doors ministry added: “Christianity is growing fastest where the persecution is the most severe. The persecutors are intrigued by why people would continue to support this belief. There is kind of the appeal of something that is taboo.”

The growth rate of Christianity in China has been put at 7 percent a year by David Aikman, author of Jesus in Beijing, a former TIME Magazine bureau chief in Beijing.

The growth rate is the reason, according to a report published last week by China Aid, that the State Council of the People’s Republic of China has made public the new restrictions planned for October.

According to China Aid, “The restrictions aim to suppress all unofficial religious activities via dispersing Christian house churches, silencing Tibetan and Xinjiang separatists and undermining the Vatican’s influence on Chinese Catholics.”

Foreign influence on Chinese churches is a focus of the new restrictions. There are prohibitions on Chinese Christians going abroad to study and to teach. Parts of the new regulations equate the taking of orders from foreign religious leaderhip — such as the Vatican, or the Dalai Lama, with terrorism.

What is the motivation? Fu says the regime in its own words has expressed its desire to contain “the overheated growth” of Christianity. But why does it want to do that? Because Christianity is seen as a political rival to the Communist leadership. “Nobody in China believes in Communism,” Fu says. But everyone sees the corruption of the ruling class, which stands in sharp contrast to the lives lived by the Christian faithful.

“When Christians maintain their faith even when persecuted, that is very attractive to people. This is especially true of “the people in the legal system who see Christians not descending into self-pity but praying for the people persecuting them. We call it ‘prison theology.’”

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