Chinese Authorities increase persecution of Christians
Chinese authorities are increasing their attacks on churches since they perceive the growth of Christianity as a threat to their communist regime. Security officials have forcibly removed crosses from two churches in the coastal province of Zhejiang and now plan to demolish more than 100 of its churches. The Government officials have already disrupted church services, confiscated or destroyed church property and detained congregations in Beijing and elsewhere.
In this regard, some confrontations with the Communists have turned violent: Fourteen members of the Wenzhou-based Salvation Church in Zhejiang province were injured in the last week by police after Chinese authorities claimed the church had violated zoning laws.
"Nobody has any illusions that citing zoning law is nothing but looking for an excuse for the current wave of clamping down on Christian churches," Renee Xia, International Director for the activist group Chinese Human Rights Defenders, stated. "This is one example of the Governments cultured management of international opinion … As the new President Xi Jinping re-asserted the Communist Party's absolute rule and is reining in any potential threat, religious persecution of Christians and others … is likely to escalate."
The U.S. State Department raised several concerns about China in its annual international religious freedom report released Monday. The report revealed that Chinese officials also persecuted Tibetans, Falun Gong followers and Muslim Uighurs.
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