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Battening Down the Hatches
The Chinese Christian Crackdown

Between 1,200 and 1,700 crosses have come crashing down over the past two years in China’s Zhejiang Province, where the brutal repression of Christians has also seen churches demolished and pastors imprisoned, all with the blessing of top party officials. The NYT reports:

“What has been happening in Zhejiang is a test,” said Fan Yafeng, an independent legal scholar in Beijing. “If the government views it as a success, it will be expanded.”

Broadening the campaign to regulate religion could backfire on Mr. Xi, with worshipers abandoning government-run churches in favor of underground congregations, which typically meet unobtrusively in office buildings or homes. It could also antagonize many of the urban, white-collar professionals who have embraced Christianity.

Having recognized Christianity as a potential threat to the CCP’s grip on power, Xi could be test-driving religious persecution in China’s Christian heartland before taking the policy nationwide. As we’ve said before, the ongoing persecution is not in China’s national interest; if anything, it may make Christians stronger.

Repression is turning a largely placid Christian population into deeply unhappy one. So far in Zhejiang Christian leaders have sermonized against the new policies and their parishioners have organized protests, sometimes going as far as clashing with security forces and blockading churches slated for demolition. Take this policy nationwide, and China’s government may be in for a massive showdown with a Christian community that outnumbers the Communist Party.

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  • rheddles

    If the ChiComs were smart they’d make it the state religion like the EUros.

    • Tom

      Unfortunately for them, they tend to look at organized religion and think “Taiping again! We must eradicate!”

      • Jim__L

        Which is heavily ironic, as most organized Christian denominations would have taken about half a second to determine that Taiping was heresy, and cooperated in ending it.

        But no, the secular government had to go its own way on this, and 40-80 million people died.

    • Del_Varner

      Read up on the “Three-Self Patriotic Movement” The “regular” people in the PRC want real Christianity and not some govenment run simulacrun of Christianity.

  • johngbarker

    I expect Christian opposition to American progressive social policies to become more defiant and militant in the near future.

    • Jim__L

      I’m not sure about that. Defiant? Yes, absolutely. Militant? Maybe on the fringes.

      Defiance of secular overreach — temporal authority that goes beyond simply keeping public order — is baked into the cake, as far as Christianity is concerned. But then, militancy isn’t.

      It never ceases to amaze me how much progress you can make with people, quietly keeping to what’s right, especially people who like to think of themselves as “good people”. They end up measuring themselves against Christian morality to claim the moral high ground (with the exceptions du jour, of course.)

      Resist their rules wherever you can, and you’d be surprised how often those rules will bend around you, then shatter upon prolonged exposure to an honest assessment of reality.

  • amoose1959

    Eat your heart out Burger ” The Chinese are coming…” Actually they are already here. Go visit any any conservative church in the northeast and you will be surprised how many American- Asians make up the congregation.

  • gabrielsyme

    One (more) negative consequence of the West’s obsession with ever more abstruse and questionable “rights” – the right to homosexual marriage, the right to use the bathroom of one’s gender identity, the right to have a doctor kill you – is that we have de-emphasized the true and primary rights – the right to life, to freedom from slavery and freedom of conscience & religion. It is a terrible thing that the West is more concerned about Russia’s law prohibiting promotion of homosexuality in their school system than with slavery on the Indian subcontinent and in (mainly) Muslim areas of Africa or with the ongoing persecution of religious communities in nations like China and much of the Muslim world.

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