Christians in China say the latest wave of persecution against them is worse than what the church experienced during the height of Mao's Cultural Revolution. Christians have suffered ongoing pressures under President Xi Jinping, but they say government oppression has intensified since the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year.
July 22nd, 2020: A loud knock on the door could be heard at the home of a woman in China's Xiamen city. She told the police outside they could not enter her home without a permit.
Moments later, they destroyed the lock and entered anyway, breaking up what the government said was an illegal meeting.
Four days later, on Sunday, July 26, government workers removed the cross from the roof of Small River Christian Church in Xinfeng county, Jiangxi province.
These are just two recent examples—both incidents that occurred just days ago in the Chinese Communist Party's crackdown on Christians and their churches.
China Aid President Bob Fu said this wave of persecution actually began in 2015, but now the Chinese Communist Party has a new excuse for targeting Christians.
"Now under this pretext of COVID-19 coronavirus, the Chinese Communist Party has intensified its persecution by banning all the church activities—even those worship services, prayer meetings in believers' own homes with their own family members."
The government has also used this as an excuse to arrest Christians who called for online prayer meetings.
CBN has reported on the removal of crosses from church buildings and this month it picked up steam. In addition to the Small River Church cross removal, on July 7, more than 100 Public Security Bureau (PSB) police and others were sent to oversee the demolition of crosses at Aodi Christian Church and Yinchang Christian Church in China's Zhejiang province.
Security guards reportedly beat Christians who tried to stop the cross removals. Church members said those injured included a man in his eighties, violently pushed to the ground.
And on July 5, police interrupted services at Guilin Enguang Church, arresting church elders.
Hours later, church members sang hymns outside the Seven Star Public Security Bureau station as they awaited the release of their leaders.
Fu said it is all a part of a new campaign of sinicization in which Christians are only considered to be good citizens if they adhere to communist ideology.
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