China Turns Churches Into Factories and Cultural Centers to Make Sure Christians Can’t Meet

(A cross is seen on the top of a Catholic church decorated with red lanterns near the city of Taiyuan, Shanxi province, December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Lee)

To ensure Christians are unable to meet, China’s Communist Party reportedly demolishes churches and repurposes places of worship, turning them into entertainment venues, factories, or “cultural centers” promoting President Xi Jinping’s socialist values.

Bitter Winter, a publication that monitors religious liberty violations in China, reports that in April, the Guangxin district government in Shangrao city shut down an old local church venue for “organizing illegal gathering” and refusing to join the Three-Self Church.

The next month, it was converted into a “Civilization Practice Station for a New Era,” a nationwide project launched by the CCP in July 2018 to encourage people of faith to abandon religions and follow the Party.

“Party propaganda posters were posted everywhere in the venue, and table-tennis tables were brought inside,” a church member told Bitter Winter, adding that the church congregation is now forced to gather in homes of believers.

The church was just one of many shuttered by the CCP in recent months.

According to Bitter Winter, last year, more than 70 Protestant venues — including state-approved Three-Self churches — were shut down in Jiangsu Province’s prefecture-level cities of Lianyungang and Suqian.

In August, at a meeting of Three-Self Church directors in Bailu, a town in Lianyungang’s Guannan county, town officials explained that empty churches must be rented or sold.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett