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Report: China funding campaign to eliminate house churches

Thursday, June 19, 2008 • 2:00 pm

I do not believe that the Olympic Games should be in China.

From Christian Today:

A new report released on Sunday, exactly two months ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games, details the current Chinese Government’s crackdown on unregistered Christians, including the funding of a campaign to eradicate house churches throughout China.

The report, entitled “China: Persecution of Protestant Christians in the Approach to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games”, by Christian Solidarity Worldwide and China Aid Association, provides information on different tactics used by the government to restrict the religious freedom of Christians.

CAA said that in May, two independent sources reported that the Chinese Central Government was providing funding to the Ministry of Public Security to escalate its campaign to eradicate house churches in China.

China Aid also said it received reports of “planned intensified persecution”, with greater control and prevention of large Christian gatherings ahead of the Games.

“While Chinese house churches have long suffered persecution, this is believed to be the first time that the authorities have systematically cracked down on the ‘third wave churches’,” the report noted. “These are churches amongst the more educated and wealthy sections of society with greater awareness of their rights, which generally meet in urban areas and have been tolerated, even though operating under certain restrictions.”

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This is the fastest way to grow a vibrant Christian community.  The fastest way to kill it is for the government to establish it.

[1] Posted by Randy Muller on 06-19-2008 at 02:45 PM • top

I have a friend who was in Chengdu immediately after the earthquake. He went to help train pastors and he came home so full of joy at the people he had met and hoped that the positive work done by Christians in China in the aftermath of the earthquake was going to help the government see the church in a different light. Guess not. I am sorry to read this.

[2] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 02:53 PM • top

Concur, S.H., but I got over the shock of it soon after it was announced and being neither an athlete nor a member of the selecting committee, I’ll watch or watch not. As much as I like to watch the events, it’ll probably be watch not.

[3] Posted by southernvirginia1 on 06-19-2008 at 02:57 PM • top

I’m with you, Sarah.  And as much as I used to enjoy watching most of the televised events, I think I’ll opt out this year.  :(

[4] Posted by Jill C. on 06-19-2008 at 03:00 PM • top

Perhaps a boycott is in order…of Chinese made products as well as the Olympics.

The Chinese were glad to accept our money and business, but now want everything on their own terms.  Not good neighbors.

[5] Posted by Theodora on 06-19-2008 at 03:08 PM • top

I regularly receive Voice of the Martyrs publication which covers the persecuted Church in China. The things they do to the people who are found at house churches is horrific. One man had all of his fingernails ripped off for passing out Gospel tracts. The amazing thing is he is still passing out the tracts with even more joy.

[6] Posted by Hammerstrike on 06-19-2008 at 03:53 PM • top

Floridian, I am doing my best not to buy Chinese. It is not easy.

[7] Posted by oscewicee on 06-19-2008 at 04:02 PM • top

#1, Randy,
Amen, and right on.  The May issue of National Geographics is completely dedicated to China.  It states that Christians comprise 8.4% of the population, roughly the same proportion as Buddhists at 8.5%.

That amounts to over 109,000,000 Christians in China !!

Best wishes to the Ministry of Public Security.  The better you do your work, the faster Christianity can advance!  What a blessing.  I do not want to be insensitive to the future suffering of many Christians in China.  If a million in the U.S. would pray for our Chinese brothers each day for 110 days, we would have prayed for each of them once.

[8] Posted by CanaAnglican on 06-19-2008 at 04:07 PM • top

I am tempted to draw a comparison to another organization that is doing everything it can in the US, legally and not so legally, to take over or close churches in Virginia, Colorado and California (and several other states).
As to it taking a million of us 110 days to say a prayer for each of our brethren in China, it seems like now would be a good time to get started.  Given the current apparent growth rate of Christianity in China, it may actually take 120 or more days to complete.  Would that we were so effective as evangelists.

[9] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-19-2008 at 07:56 PM • top

CSW reports are great:  reliable, detailed and well documented.  Yes, protest at the Olympics are really needed.  I have heard from many that the Christianization of China is welcomed with grateful hearts by thousands.  They really get it.  And they are badly persecuted.  Pray for the conversion of China and that western governments protest the persecution of religious Chinese.

[10] Posted by Seen-Too-Much on 06-19-2008 at 08:58 PM • top

“Perhaps a boycott is in order…of Chinese made products as well as the Olympics”—-Floridian [#5]

“Protests at the Olympics are really needed”—-STM [10]

Protests hit China’s rulers where it hurts. So would the prospect of boycotting Chinese goods.

By contrast, our declining to watch the Olympics won’t faze those rulers: they’ve already been paid for the TV rights.

Protests will be most effective when they get TV coverage. Stand Firm readers in Washington, DC, have the perfect protest location: the triangle in front of the Chinese Embassy at Connecticut Avenue and Kalorama Road.

Think of dramatic ways to depict the plight of house-church Christians: e.g., a Chinese Christian hanging from a cross, with each arm bound to the cross with five colored Olympic rings.

Remember, the news media like conflict: it makes news stories more interesting. If we serve up memorable protests between now and the Olympics, more than a few of them will get coverage.

And house churches make for an appealing underdog. No sane Westerner will think they pose some horrible threat (at least not unless worshipers occupy all the parking places on his street).

[11] Posted by Irenaeus on 06-20-2008 at 01:20 PM • top

Perhaps a boycott is in order…of Chinese made products as well as the Olympics.

My doctor told me to never buy shoes made in China regardless of brand or store.  They use all sorts of chemicals to tan the leather that are illegal in the United States.

[12] Posted by Piedmont on 06-20-2008 at 01:54 PM • top

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