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China Facts

Score: 57 / 100
Region: Asia
Persecution Type: Communist and Post-communist Oppression
Persecution Level: High
Population: 1,388,233,000
Christians: 97,200,000
Main Religion: Atheism
Government: Communist State
Leader: President Xi Jinping

Profile of Persecution Methodology

Violence 54%
Church Life 80%
National Life 64%
Community Life 48%
Family Life 43%
Private Life 55%

Where Persecution Comes From

The majority of Christian persecution in China is experienced by the small group of Christians from Muslim or Tibetan Buddhist backgrounds. Muslim and Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders are still quite influential in the autonomous provinces of Xinjian and Tibet. In these communities, conversion is seen as much more than changing one’s religion –rather,  it is a complete betrayal of the community and one’s family. Parents and the community at large heavily persecute known Christians. Another persecution driver is the Communist government, which limits freedoms. Christians, in particular, are hedged in by authorities, as they are the largest social force in China not controlled by the state.

How Christians are Suffering

While the distinction between government-registered and unregistered churches used to be a major factor in whether or not they were persecuted, this is no longer the case. All Christians are slandered, which seems to support the widely held belief that the Communist Party is banking on a unified Chinese cultural identity to maintain its power. When converts from Islam or Tibetan Buddhism are discovered by their families or communities, they are usually threatened, violently harmed and reported to local authorities. Spouses are sometimes forced to divorce their Christian partners, and some children are taken from their Christian parents. Public baptisms are impossible, and events such as weddings and burials involving known Christians are denied by imams and lamas.

Examples

In May 2017, two Chinese missionaries were abducted by radical Islamic militants in Quetta, Pakistan, and were later killed. With a growing Christian church in China and the pledge to send 20,000 missionaries by 2030, more and more Chinese missionaries will be sent to some of the most difficult and unlikely places in the world.

In August 2017, several buildings belonging to a Catholic church in the Shanxi province were destroyed, despite efforts by church members to protect them. Homes of believers were raided and belongings confiscated in Guangdong, Xinjiang and Anhui. Churches have been raided as well, and landlords renting premises to churches have been pressured to terminate such contracts.

Pray for China

  • Pray for the growth of believers from minority people groups that are from Muslim and Buddhist backgrounds. Small Christian communities continue to experience pressure from family, friends, and community in sensitive regions like Xinjiang and Tibet.
  • Pray for Chinese Christians to stand strong amidst tightening religious restrictions and to engage in cross-cultural missions effectively.
  • Pray that teenage and young believers will enter a deeper walk with Jesus in the midst of their materialistic environments.
  • Pray that Christ will reveal Himself to government officials who seek to control the church.

Stories from China

January 16, 2018

Chinese Government Blows Up Christian Megachurch–a Warning to Local Churches

As many as 50,000 Christians in China lifted their voices to the heavens at the Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen,…

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January 10, 2018

215 Million Believers Face Persecution for Their Faith in Christ

The release of the 2018 World Watch List confirms what we've seen and shared over the past year. Our brothers…

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December 29, 2017

2017’s Top 10 Most-Read Stories From the Persecuted Church

Throughout the world, 2017 was a difficult, yet also hopeful, year for the persecuted church. Take some time to look…

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