It feels like every day we are hearing more news about China increasing persecution on the Christian community.
Abuses are escalating to unprecedented levels as weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re seeing a full out Ã¢â‚¬Å“purge against ChristiansÃ¢â‚¬Â in the Zhejiang province in Eastern China perpetrated by the government, according to organizations monitoring the situation on the ground.
ChinaAid,Ã‚Â a watchdog group, stated that local governments are stepping up and taking charge of the persecution and outlaw of Christianity.
The government has banned all kinds of religious meetings, meaning no church services, no Bible studies, and no prayer meetings. Not only are they banning religious events but they are calling for people to renounce their faith, particularly in Jesus Christ.
Wenzhou and Shaoxing, two governments in the eastern province have banned religious gatherings, stating that they are a fire hazard, and routinely work to shut down each gathering.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The police often show up and say that they want to conduct a fire safety inspection. They wander around in the church and arbitrarily point out that some facilities do not meet the standards,Ã¢â‚¬Â Li, a Hangzhou Christian stated.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Then, they require you to reform in two weeks. Even if you do exactly as they said, they would still deem you Ã¢â‚¬ËœunqualifiedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in the next inspection. You are helpless,Ã¢â‚¬Â Li continued.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The government will ban you no matter what. We no longer organize large-scale gatherings. Only a few people meet up in their own houses, changing location once in a while,Ã¢â‚¬Â Zhu, another Christian stated. He pointed out that the government will go looking for any small excuse to shut down churches.
Not only are government officials shutting down all religious gatherings, but they are also being pressured at school on their religious beliefs by teachers. In Wenzhou, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reported that there is an intense role each teacher plays.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Many schools in Wenzhou are investigating the religious backgrounds of students. Firstly, they find out if the parents are Catholics or Christians. Then, they find out the names, home addresses, and addresses of their workplaces. Finally, they will show up in your house and ask you to renounce your religious belief,Ã¢â‚¬Â an anonymous Christian shared.
Another anonymous Christian shared that believers in Wenzhou are also targeted at their places of work. They are often targeted by their bosses and have lost wages or bonuses due to their faith. These techniques are used to try to get the Christians to stop going to church.
Wenzhou is traditionally known as a Christian community because of its large population of believers. Many even refer to it as Ã¢â‚¬Å“ChinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Jerusalem.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The community has faced intense persecution in the past years, and it is only growing. The atheistic Communist government, which falsely claims to promote freedom of religion, has recently banned Sunday School as well.
Despite the levels of persecution, and the increasing fear of the government, parents are still pushing forward to teach their children the Word of God.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Faith comes first, grades come second,Ã¢â‚¬Â Chen, a parent told Reuters back in December 2017.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Drugs, porn, gambling, and violence are serious problems among todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s youth and video games are extremely seductive,Ã¢â‚¬Â Chen added. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We cannot be by his side all the time so only through faith can we make him understand [the right thing to do].Ã¢â‚¬Â
Persecution isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t something new to the people of Wenzhou.
In April 2017, the government attempted to install cameras in the local churches, in order to monitor their activities.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Government officials came to the churches and put up Ã‚Âcameras by force. Some pastors and worshipers who didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t agree to the move were dragged away,Ã¢â‚¬Â one Christian in Wenzhou stated.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Some people needed to be treated in hospital after fighting the officials.Ã¢â‚¬Â