The European Union Parliament reports that for Christians in China “persecution campaigns made 2016 one of the most tyrannical years since the Cultural Revolution.”
China’s President Xi
China’s president, Xi Jinping, believes religion “must conform to and benefit a socialist society.” He has stated that China must guard against religious extremism and foreign infiltration through religion.
He is quoted as saying, “We must resolutely resist overseas infiltration through religious means and guard against ideological infringement by extremists.” In addition he urged his administration to “merge religious doctrines with Chinese culture....” Consequently, he has urged officials to fully implement policies on religious freedom so that religious groups are forced to abide by the rules the party’s leadership puts into law.
Persecution on the rise
China Aid reports a 175 percent increase in government abuse cases, a 91 percent increase in the number of abused people, an 11 percent hike in religious persecution cases. and an increase of 6 percent in the number of unjustly detained victims.
China is also targeting lawyers try to advocate for religious rights, even though they do so under Chinese law.
For example, rights activist Zhai Yanmin was given a three-year suspended term and Beijing church elder Hu Shigen was given seven-and-a-half-years’ incarceration and five years’ deprivation of political rights for allegedly disseminating “subversive” thoughts and ideas in Christianity. Zhou Shifeng, a Christian attorney, was arrested on suspicion of “subverting state power,” China Aid reports.
South China Morning Post