06/13/2019 China (International Christian Concern) — According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), 24 churches in China’s northeastern Hebei province are slated for destruction. CNA also reports an increase of problems following the Sino-Vatican agreement.
Since the agreement, the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Department is attempting to pressure church leaders into joining the Catholic Patriotic Association. This association was established by the government to create ease of surveillance, monitoring, and supervision of Chinese Christians. Thus the association interferes with the ability of free practice of faith.
The Chinese church is heavily under pressure by the authorities, who have more broadly increased their authoritarian tactics aimed at further restricting the church. For example, surveillance of religious minorities is increasingly common place and is growing as technology advances. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) rates China as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern.
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