07/09/2019 China (International Christian Concern)- The Chinese church has faced severe suppression by government authorities recently, especially in Henan and Hebei regions. Though stories of church raids, demolitions and forced removal of crosses have entered the media realm, many inside China insinuate that there is much more going on.
Hebei province is a growing region of persecution. A priest went missing in 2016 from the area and crosses of churches were forcibly removed in May 2018. Other churches faced demolition and redevelopment for other uses. One priest was removed from his position after referencing the detention of another priest, not understanding the repercussions and extent of regulations on religious affairs. However, church leaders were threatened to not speak of the events.
Churches and church members who have been subjected to these events have reported that they are warned and threatened to not discuss the details of the events or any ongoing instances. Authorities are supposedly actively blocking reports coming out of the country. One priest inside Hebei told ucanews that many are concerned about sharing photos and details of incidents because “the government wants to make someone accountable for this. Even if it is just for show, they will spend a long time seeking revenge”.
As more church leaders come forward with stories of persecution, they and their church are at greater risk. More must be done to legalize the flow of communication out of China and allow for Christians to worship freely.
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