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World Watch Update: China

Region: East Asia
2019 World Watch List Position: #27
Leader: President Xi Jinping
Population: 1 415 046 000 (7% are Christians)
Main Religion: Atheism/Traditional Chinese Beliefs
Government: Communist State
Sources of Persecution: Communist and Post-Communist Oppression

China has jumped dramatically from #43 to #27 on this year’s World Watch List. The Communist authorities have made aggressive moves to maintain their power and control over society, increasing many restrictions on Christians. Youths are being forcibly removed from church life; worship is monitored via the state’s broadcast network (CCTV), as well as spies; and teachers and medical workers are being told they’re not allowed to have any religious affiliation. Additionally, the state has threatened elderly Chinese Christians with the loss of social benefits if they continue to worship Christ. Christians from a Muslim or a Tibetan Buddhist background face the additional threat of persecution from their families and religious communities, because their conversion is seen as a betrayal of their heritage. All reports indicate these hostilities will only increase as the Chinese government continues to persecute any views deemed as a threat to its stranglehold on power.


  • Pray for strength for believers from Muslim and Buddhist backgrounds who can be forced to divorce their spouses and have their children taken away.
  • Pray that Christians will stand strong as religious restrictions are tightened.
  • Pray that the hearts of government officials who try to control the Church will be convicted regarding the importance of religious freedom.
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