While persecution is far from new to the People’s Republic of China, a new development has arisen in China’s southeastern Jiangxi Province.
According to a recent Bitter Winter article, local officials and public authorities are doubling down on a directive instructing private Christian congregations to instead worship the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) itself.
Jiangxi, while not China’s province with the greatest Christian demographic, does boast a comparatively sizable Christian population. House churches may be found in numerous places across the region and in good numbers.
In response to the rapidly growing numbers of Christian converts, the United Front Work Department, the CCP’s instrument of maintaining national unity and popular loyalty to itself, passed an order in Jiangxi Province to repress and dissolve local Christian gatherings in urban and rural settings in March of this year.
If the local government discovers a secret house church, if not disbanded immediately, the congregation will be given some limited choices. They can choose dismissal and closure of their place of worship, or “Rectification” with the state-run Three-Self Church, which has no autonomy from the government. The Three-Self Church frames selected elements of Christianity in such a manner as to keep its adherents in line with the Party Ideology.
Date published: 02/10/2019
Feature image: Chinese Catholics worship at a church in Beijing (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)
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