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6/5/2024 China (International Christian Concern) — Tuesday marked 35 years since the Chinese Communist Party crushed the student-led pro-democracy protests centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  

Martial law was declared by authorities on June 3, 1989, leading to the notorious and violent events in Tiananmen Square on June 4, with some unforgettable scenes broadcast around the world. The death toll from the military’s crushing of the protests in Tiananmen, around Beijing, and around China is still unknown today. However, many commentators believe hundreds of students, protestors, and soldiers were killed during these events.

As the world remembers this landmark event, the power and control of the huge Chinese Communist government continue to grow. International Christian Concern (ICC) has regularly highlighted the continuing suffering, abuse, and discrimination against Christians within mainland China, particularly in our Persecutor of the Year reports that highlight the ever-increasing Sinicization of religion, history, and society in China — and the ongoing persecution of churches, particularly house churches.  

The spread of China’s influence on Hong Kong’s affairs and society is clear. For example, the contentious National Security Law has had a chilling effect on Christian leaders in Hong Kong. Additionally, as of June 3, eight people have been arrested under the controversial Safeguarding National Security Ordinance (Article 23) for inciting hatred against the central and Hong Kong governments through social media posts.  

These arrests are connected to the arrest and detention last week of Chow Hang-tung, an ardent pro-democracy supporter and the main organizer of the now-outlawed annual vigil in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, to remember and honor those killed in the Tiananmen protests. These recent arrests are on top of the hundreds of people still in prison since 2019 from the Hong Kong democracy protests, many of whom are Christian activists.

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