Source: The New American
Written by Steve Byas:
Despite a popular belief that China is no longer a totalitarian communist state, ongoing persecution of Christians in the world’s most populous country contradicts that misconception.
According to China Aid, 2014 was the “Year of Persecution and Endurance” in China, with human rights abuses and religious persecution rising 153 percent as compared to 2013. The number of Christians sentenced went from 12 in 2013 to 1,274 in 2014. But because China is a brutal dictatorship, the actual numbers are no doubt much higher.
The Chinese government’s persecution campaign included forced demolition of churches and crosses,” explained China Aid, which keeps tabs on such abuses. Pastors have been detained, and fines have been levied on churches, which state-run media have referred to as “cults.”
Zhejiang has one of the larger concentrations of Christians in the country. Exact numbers are difficult to determine, because some churches are “government-sanctioned,” and others are illegal “house” churches, but total numbers in both are estimated at around 300,000 Catholics and about one million Protestants. In the nation at large, the “official” churches include about 30 million, with as many as 70 million to even 100 million worshiping in congregations unapproved by the government.
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