Chinese Christians Say Harsh Religious Restrictions Are ‘Nothing New’ and They Have More Freedom Now Than 70 Years Ago

China has been making the news recently in Christian circles thanks to increasingly tighter restrictions and crackdowns on the local Chinese Church. These efforts to make the Church more “Chinese” have worried some outsiders, but how will it affect ongoing ministry?

China Partner’s Erik Burklin reports that at least according to their contacts, this is just business as usual.

Finding Out For Themselves

At the beginning of April, China Partner took a 10-day trip to China to visit five cities in as many provinces. They traveled to Guangzhou, Naming, Kudning, Nanjing, and Shanghai.

The finale of their trip saw them meeting with the newly-elected National China Christian Council in Shanghai. There and throughout the trip, Erik interviewed believers about their response to tightening policies.

According to them, this is really just more of the same.

“It didn’t matter where we were, whether that was in the south, or in the far west, inside of Yunan province, or on the East Coast in Shanghai, where it’s more liberal or open, they all were consistent in saying that, number one, there are no new religious regulation,” Burklin explains. “They always have existed, and that was new to us. The difference is that now, it’s being enforced.”

Burklin’s contacts say many of these regulations were already on the books; President Shi-zu-ping is simply following through on them.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt