02/13/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – In the name of “Sinicization,” China has been targeting religions seen by Beijing as under foreign influence, namely Islam and Christianity.
By now it is no secret that China has placed from one million to two millions of Uyghur Muslims living in Xinjiang in the so-called “re-education camps,” a modern-day equivalent of concentration camp, where they are subject to indoctrination, torture, or even death.
On the other hand, after the revised religious regulations were enacted last February, Christian churches in China, whether state-sanctioned or not, have been facing increasing clampdown. Crosses were removed, churches harassed, raided or shut down, and Christians put in jail.
In addition, foreign missionaries who have been working in China are now getting deported in groups. Joe Handley from Asian Access, a church planting group told Mission Network News, “I’m hearing stories of at least five mission groups who have had members of their teams kicked out of China. I’ve heard of them kicked out in numbers of up to 30 people.” At the same time, other mission groups are experiencing pressure so intense, “they’re worried about what might happen to their partners on the ground.”
As previously reported by ICC, South Korean missionaries in the northeast who work with North Korean defectors also have been deported in recent years, estimated to be by the thousands.
The current waves of expulsion of foreign missionaries are seen as one on the largest since 1954 when the Chinese Communist government expelled all foreign religious workers after taking power in 1949. However, Handley notes, “When the Revolution occurred years ago and the missionaries were kicked out, that led to the fastest Church growth in the history of modern China.”
Chinese Christians while concerned about the current situation, they are not discouraged. They need prayers so that they will know how to reorganize themselves for evangelism and support one another during this difficult time.
For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.