Two Ways to Help Persecuted Christians in China

Image depicts Chinese President Xi Jinping during a 2015 visit to London. (Photo courtesy of Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Flickr/Creative Commons)

Top official Che Dala defended China’s “training program” in Tibet and warned against overdoing religion. The Chinese Communist Party appointed Che as Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region three years ago, tasking him with economic reform.

During a press briefing yesterday with foreign reporters, Che encouraged Tibetans to follow the CCP’s formula for a “happy life.” Che also warned citizens not to “overdo” religion, Reuters reports:

“As long as they work hard to get rich, listen to the party, follow the party, and get down to doing things, their future will be more beautiful.”

Critics say the Tibet program looks eerily similar to controversial labor camps in Xinjiang that hold thousands of Uyghur Muslims against their will. Voice of the Martyrs USA spokesman Todd Nettleton says China is waging war on every religion – including Christianity.

See our full China coverage here.

“Protestant churches are also being told to take down the pictures of Jesus, put up a picture of Chairman Mao [or] put up a picture of President Xi Jinping,” Nettleton says.

“Don’t sing your Christian hymns to start your service; instead, sing patriotic songs about the Communist Party.”

Why does President Xi hate religion?

Gospel growth and Communist control drive the latest crackdowns on Christians. Persecution even extends to children, Christian Post reports.

“[The oppression] is a reflection of the fact that the Church in China has grown dramatically in recent years. It is also a direct reflection of President Xi Jinping’s attitude towards religion and his desire for the Communist Party to exert control,” Nettleton says.

Why can’t religious groups and President Xi’s CCP peacefully coexist? Earlier this month, International Christian Concern’s Meg Midwood observed, “China’s leader, President Xi, is terrified of religion. Religion represents a threat to his authority, a potential Achilles’ heel of the communist infrastructure.”

Nettleton points to Xi’s history as another possible explanation. “Before [Xi] was a national leader, he was a provincial leader, and one of the things he did to ‘make his mark’ in that position was to crack down on the Church,” Nettleton says.

“I think he sees that as part of the way he got this job now as the president, and he has brought that philosophy to the national government.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for Xi Jinping and other influential leaders. Pray for their eyes to be opened and their mindsets changed.
  • Ask the Lord to protect Chinese believers, and pray the Spirit will help them act in faith.