China: Communist Party official says ‘Christianity does not belong in China’

October 8, 2020

Persecution of Christians in China: On June 11, reported that Chinese authorities had removed 250 crosses from churches in Anhui province. Now that number has exceeded 900. The Christian quoted in the story below is correct: all these measures that the Chinese Communist Party is taking against the Church are “a disguised way to eradicate our faith.” The disguise is growing increasingly thin.

This is a matter of grave concern for Orthodox Christians in China and all other Christians as well. 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. If crosses can be removed from Three-Self churches, they can be removed from Orthodox churches as well.

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.

“CCP Officials: ‘Christianity Doesn’t Belong in China,’” by Ye Jiajia, Bitter Winter, October 6, 2020:

In July, the government of Lanling county’s Dazhongcun town, administered by the prefecture-level city of Linyi in Shandong Province’s, toppled crosses from numerous state-approved Three-Self Church venues. On the 25th of the month, four places of worship lost their symbols. The town government hired a large crane and several workers to do the job. Other religious symbols and slogans were also eliminated from the buildings.

Amid the demolition, one of the town officials told onlookers that “crosses must be removed from all churches because Christianity does not belong in China.”

The ongoing cross removal campaign in Linyi city was launched at the beginning of last year. On April 11, the municipal United Front Work Department convened an emergency meeting for the city’s Three-Self Church pastors, informing them that because “there were too many Christians in Linyi,” the provincial government had issued a red-headed document ordering to control the matter by cracking down places of worship. All official venues were demanded to remove crosses from atop their buildings. If anyone dared to protest, the pastors were warned, their churches would be leveled to the ground.

“The number of believers is growing, which could turn into a serious force,” a Linyi city government official said. “That’s why authorities want to stifle the development of Christianity.”…

Some Three-Self Church members complained about the increasing amount of restrictions from the government. “The state is removing crosses, alters church seals, and censors hymnbooks. What is next?” a believer complained. “This is a disguised way to eradicate our faith.”