Wednesday, 25 June 2014 10:40

Communist Chinese Regime Steps up War on Churches

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The communist regime ruling over mainland China is stepping up its war against Christians, their churches, and, especially, the cross. In recent weeks, dozens of houses of worship in the province of Zhejiang have received official notices that crosses must come down. Despite resistance by local persecuted Christians, some churches have been entirely demolished as the regime furiously cracks down on what it calls “illegal” religious activities. Hundreds of church buildings have been torn down this year across China, as leaders are arrested. And human rights organizations fear the worst is yet to come.  

Of course, the ruthless regime in Beijing and its lower-level minions around China have come up with lots of implausible excuses for terrorizing Christians and attacking their places of worship. The growing wave of demolitions and cross removals in Zhejiang, for example, is being attributed by Communist Party officials to “permitting” and “safety” concerns. As part of a three-year plan to eradicate “illegal” structures in the province, the “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” has already targeted at least 64 churches for persecution, according to sources on the ground cited by human-rights groups focused on China.

Perhaps the most shocking example came in late April. Communist authorities demanded the destruction of the beautiful Sanjiang Church, which was officially sanctioned, as opposed to the “illegal” house churches spreading like wildfire across China in the face of barbaric state terror. In response, over 1,000 faithful assembled at the church to protect it from government demolition squads. The local branch of the regime responded with over 100 heavily armed SWAT officers and paramilitary units before sending in machinery to raze the $5 million church to the ground on April 28.

At least six other church buildings in the province have been totally or partially destroyed by officials since then, sources report. Many more have had their symbols removed as part of what analysts are calling a campaign to “de-Christianize” the skyline. “The cross was secretly taken down between 3am and 6am,” explained Zheng Legou, a leader with the Guantou church in Wenzhou. “The worshippers were threatened that if they resisted, their church would be demolished just like Sanjiang.”

Christian victims of the persecution in China have expressed a broad range of emotions. Despite the regime’s attacks on their churches, many remain upbeat. “Throughout church history, pressure from the outside has only made the gospel spread more and more,” Pastor Yang Mushi was quoted as saying on Chinese social-media service Weibo. “This is because the gospel is not contained in a visible structure. Tears may be in our eyes today, but we can also see a greater revival coming. What we see is not the end, but a new road leading to a new door.”

Pastor Yang also said Christians must realize that the church is not the building it meets in, a widespread sentiment expressed by victims. “Christians shouldn't be so sad. Maybe this is a good time to reflect and wonder if we have put too much focus on church buildings,” he wrote. “With this jiaotang [church building] now destroyed, we should focus our efforts on building the jiaohui [church, congregation, fellowship].” The key functions of the church are “preaching the Word” and “properly administering the sacraments,” Yang added.

Other Chinese Christians asked God to forgive the bureaucrats and officials responsible for the attacks. “Today, my eyes are shedding tears; Today, my heart is broken,” wrote another Chinese Christian, "Aidie/mg Zhendi," in a poem about the demolition. “Father! Forgive them, They do not understand what they did. Demolish! It’s just a building. You cannot remove the cross from our hearts; … It will usher in revival, United, we will be victorious! … Lord God, I beg you to remember this hatred. Father, May your will be done.” Demolishing the church buildings, Zhendi noted, “is like the labor pains of birth.”

The Chinese regime’s “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” brushed off the growing international outcry as a mere misunderstanding. “I want to emphasize that the Chinese government earnestly protects the rights of Chinese citizens including safeguarding their freedom of religious beliefs,” the dictatorship’s “foreign ministry” claimed. “With regard to what has happened in Zhejiang, there has been some misunderstanding. The demolitions took place because those sites were built against relevant regulations. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs.”

The New York Times, however, obtained an official document about the campaign, demolishing the regime’s lies. “The priority is to remove crosses at religious activity sites on both sides of expressways, national highways and provincial highways,” the document says. “Over time and in batches, bring down the crosses from the rooftops to the facade of the buildings.” The scheme is part of a campaign to reduce Christianity’s public profile, not enforce zoning regulations, the Times reported. Only Christians and crosses are being targeted.

In reality, as with all communist regimes, the truth is that the ruthless tyrants ruling over China hate the church with a special passion. There are many reasons for that, including the fact that totalitarians want all loyalty and devotion centered on themselves and their regimes. But it isn't simply that God, the Creator of the universe, represents competition in the view of tyrants. More than a few Christian doctrines conflict with the totalitarian, officially atheistic theology of communism. Ultimately the enemies of God actually want to supplant Him, making themselves "gods" on Earth.

Still, even with the persecution, the church in China will continue to grow.

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

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Chinese Regime Arrests Christians for Easter

China Launches Campaign to Eradicate House Churches

Chinese Underground Church Leader Samuel Lamb Dies at 88

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Christian Massacres: A Result of U.S. Foreign Policy

Christian Martyrdom Doubled in 2013, Persecution Growing

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  • Comment Link Ted Makogon Friday, 27 June 2014 23:32 posted by Ted Makogon

    So what exactly is so different in this case from what has been happening for the last several decades in the US? Cross removals are nothing unusual in the States. A removal of a cross or a Christian inscription in the US is fine, since it has been ordered by a judge. Similar removal in China is not fine, even though it most probably has been ordered by a (Chinese) judge. Both judges are not elected. But in the US it is OK, since the US is democratic "by definition" whereas China is not, again "by definition". Double standards again?

  • Comment Link UrbanTroubadour Wednesday, 25 June 2014 12:17 posted by UrbanTroubadour

    James Lankford the Oklahoma senate GOP pick doubled down for China-US military in the bill HR 2397 while he was in the House of Reps! No sensible amendment would break him from changing his vote on the side of the communist regime. A regime that oppresses Christians and forces women to have abortions.

    Vote Date: July 24, 2013 Vote: NAY Bad Vote.
    Military Intervention.

    During consideration of the defense appropriations bill (H.R. 2397), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to prohibit funding for military actions after December 31, 2014 that are carried out pursuant to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

    As Rep. Schiff noted: "The 2001 AUMF was never intended to authorize a war without end, and it now poorly defines those who pose a threat to our country. That authority and the funding that goes along with it should expire concurrent with the end of our combat role in Afghanistan."

    Schiff also noted: "The Constitution vests the Congress with the power to declare war and the responsibility of appropriating funds to pay for it. It is our most awesome responsibility and central to our military efforts overseas. We owe it to the men and women we send into combat to properly define and authorize their mission, and my amendment will effectively give Congress the next 16 months to do so."

    The House rejected Schiff's amendment on July 24, 2013 by a vote of 185 to 236 (Roll Call 410).

    We have assigned pluses to the yeas because only Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war and appropriate funds to pay for it. Authorizing the president to use military force without a declaration of war is a shifting of responsibility from Congress to the executive branch that essentially allows the president to exercise dictator-like powers and should be opposed.

  • Comment Link UrbanTroubadour Wednesday, 25 June 2014 12:10 posted by UrbanTroubadour

    Can we expect Republican Senate candidate James Lankford, should he win in November, continue to vote for joint China-US military exercises? He did as a congressman think that cooperating with an oppressive regime was fine and dandy and thereby voted that way:

    The Freedom Index laid out the constitutional principles and freedom ramifications:
    Vote Date: July 24, 2013 Vote: NAY Bad Vote.
    U.S.-China Joint Military Exercises.
    During consideration of the defense appropriations bill (H.R. 2397), Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) offered an amendment to prohibit funds to "be used for United States military exercises which include any participation by the People's Republic of China." On September 6, 2013, after this amendment was rejected, three Chinese warships arrived at Pearl Harbor to participate in a joint one-day search-and-rescue drill with the U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser U.S.S. Lake Erie. The joint exercise was conducted on September 9, 2013. On November 12, 2013, for the first time in U.S. history, Chinese People's Liberation Army troops put boots on U.S. soil as they participated in a joint "Disaster Management Exchange" with the U.S. Army Pacific, the Hawaii Army National Guard, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The amendment to prohibit the use of funds for such ventures was intended to prevent the U.S. military from participating in them.

    The House rejected Stockman's amendment on July 24, 2013 by a vote of 137 to 286 (Roll Call 404). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because communist China is a self-proclaimed enemy of the United States, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people in the 20th century; continues to persecute countless political dissenters, Christians, and other religious minorities; and has recently threatened to target and destroy U.S. cities with nuclear-tipped ICBMs. Military collaboration with the Chinese regime will not diminish the security threat it poses to the United States but, if anything, heighten it.

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