China Aid has been documenting abuses by the country's communist regime and today, it released its 2020 Annual Persecution Report which covers last year's crackdown on churches as well as persecution of Chinese Christians.
"We are excited to release this report documenting the stories of Christians the Chinese Communist Party targeted for living out their faith," said Dr. Bob Fu, Founder and President of ChinaAid.
"We are dismayed, however, at the increasing number of persecution cases year after year. ChinaAid will continue to advocate for our brothers and sisters in China by sharing their stories of faithfulness and seeking justice against their oppressors," he added.
The report reveals that between January and December 2020, the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) systemic harassment of Christians, other religious practitioners, and activists has steadily increased and intensified. Under President Xi Jinping's orders, Chinese officials executed the "Five-Year Plan for the Sinicization of Christianity" which is now in its third year.
Said campaign seeks to uphold Chinese traditions by regulating the teachings of faith groups to promote Marxist philosophies. Churches are also ordered to put up Chinese flags in their places of worship as well as sing patriotic songs in their services.
In the name of economic and social contributions, churches under CCP's Three Party Movement are ordered to make Xi Jinping the center of their theological teachings. Bible stories were also maliciously altered and distorted.
Also during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, the CCP used it as an excuse to shut down all places of worship and to ban any religious gathering or activity throughout mainland China. Both state-run and house churches suffered more harassment including the pillaging of properties and total demolition of church buildings. Anyone who dares challenge the authorities end up suffering ugly consequences.
ChinaAid said that overall, 100% of house churches have experienced some level of persecution in 2020. Every house church's core leader was summoned for questioning by the police, with some detained longer and in danger of being criminally prosecuted under false charges.
Other findings from the report were summarized as follows:
- CCP authorities completed nine documented church demolitions, disconcerting more than 5000 members and attendees.
- In addition to demolishing churches, CCP authorities forcibly commandeered and repurposed an unknown number of churches and religious sites.
- CCP authorities raided Christian families' gatherings and interfered with parenting decisions. Numerous officials sued Christians for homeschooling their children or sending them to church-run schools.
- Persecution adversely affected more than three million Christians in China during 2020.
As more victims and their families come forward to recount their stories of abuse in the hands of Chinese authorities, ChinaAid's report for 2020 confirms that China's persecution of Christians and of those professing any belief has escalated compared the previous years. While the government tries to suppress such information, the truth about their abuses of power will always come out.
In publishing their report, ChinaAid hopes that the outside world will pay more attention to the increasing religious persecution in China as well as promote religious freedom for all.
For more details, read the complete report here.