China Bans Public Gatherings for Christmas

December 28, 2019

Persecution of Christians in China: the Chinese government is in the midst of an all-out campaign to turn Christianity into a weak religion that is entirely subservient to the Chinese Communist Party, and that doesn’t teach anything that would lead Chinese people away from Communist Party dogma. This is a matter of grave concern for Orthodox Christians in China and all other Christians as well. This story concerns house churches, but Orthodox Christians are in no less precarious position.

Holy Orthodoxy in China predates this war on Christianity. It has a three-hundred year history in China, with the first Orthodox Christians coming into the country in 1685. In the 1980s, the Chinese Orthodox Church began to experience a revival. Pray that it not be snuffed out. The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, requests once again that the Chinese government end these repressive measures, grant official recognition to the Chinese Orthodox Church, and give full religious freedom to all the Christians of that nation.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“China Bans Public Gatherings for Christmas,” International Christian Concern, December 25, 2019:

12/25/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – Christians around China have been told that they should avoid holding public gatherings to celebrate Christmas.

According to Radio Free Asia, house churches in the southern province of Guangdong, the eastern province of Shandong and the southwestern provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou have been contacted by police and warned off holding any events.

“We are afraid to meet in public [because such meetings] have been designated illegal gatherings,” a Shandong pastor who gave only the name John said on Christmas Eve.

He said the ban appeared to target churches that had so far resisted joining the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement churches.

“We can’t do Christmas this year; we can’t hold any activities on Christmas,” he said, before adding “We celebrated it a few days ago in [smaller] groups, whereas in the past we were able to celebrate it with thousands of people coming together.”

A pastor of a house church in Sichuan surnamed Li said his church was under a similar ban, where they are “not allowed to celebrate Christmas here, and it’s the same across the whole country.” His church has more than 1,000 members who had been able to celebrate together in previous years….