ICC Note: In the latest report published by the UK-based Release International serving persecuted Christians, China is listed as a “key country of concern” for 2018, warning that Christians in the Communist regime will be facing a harsh new year due to the new set of regulations on religious affairs that will come into effect next month. The state will have greater control over churches, making unregistered churches difficult to survive. Other countries listed in the annual report from Release International include India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Iran, and Egypt.
01/02/2018 (Christian Times) – China and India were among the top nations of concern listed in the 2018 Persecution Trends Report published by the U.K.-based group Release International, which monitors the persecution of Christians across the world.
Release International stated in its latest report that China is a “key country of concern” for 2018, warning that Christians in the Communist regime will be facing a harsh new year due to the new set of regulations on religious affairs that will come into force in February.
Under the new rules, the state will have greater control over churches and other places of worship, which entails that unregistered house churches will face “increasingly tough measures to control their activities.”
The new regulations were being promoted as an effort to “block extremism” and prevent the use of religion to “endanger national security and undermine social order.”
At the end of 2017, the Chinese government had stepped up its crackdown on Christmas celebrations in some districts, in an apparent attempt to tighten its grip on Christianity.
In Anhui, local officials issued a notice declaring, “Public places are not allowed to celebrate Christmas. Even creating a Christmas atmosphere – such as putting up Christmas trees, Santa Claus, wearing Christmas hats, and all other items related to Christmas is severely restricted. All Christmas-related activities are required to be cancelled.”
Release International noted that the restrictions against Christianity in China will also affect North Korean refugees, as many of them are cared for by Chinese Christians.
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