The most overt persecution in China often takes place in regions where Buddhism or Islam are the majority religions. However, persecution and discrimination are slowly spreading throughout most of China.
The Chinese Communist Party’s goal is to make sure churches don’t fall out of line with official viewpoints. So churches that claim Christ as King are viewed with suspicion, especially since Christianity is considered a Western influence. Children under 18 continue are forbidden from attending church. Most churches are monitored and can be shut down without warning.
Digital persecution also impacts the Church in China. Restrictions passed in 2018 as part of a wide-ranging law on religion have made it harder for Christians to use the Internet or social media to pursue their faith. Meanwhile, every citizen can be sure that none of their digital footprint is out of the state’s view.
“We’re feeling nervous, fearful and worried, as it’s our first time to encounter this. Are we being blacklisted – will our travels be restricted? We have no answer to it now. But we’re grateful that, after this incident, our brothers and sisters never cease praying for one another and lifting each other up with words of encouragement.”
Qiang (name changed) and his wife were both fined and detained for five days for “hosting gatherings illegally”. They fled to another province but are still wanted as their fine remains unpaid.
What does Open Doors do to help?
Through local partners and churches, Open Doors supports believers in China with discipleship and persecution survival training, helping serve the younger generation of believers, and by providing contextualised Christian literature to believers who have converted from Islam or Buddhism.