▷ Instruction for Christians: “Remain invisible during Olympia” / On March 1st, …


04.02.2022 – 12:33

Open Doors Deutschland e.V.

Kelkheim

Ahead of today’s Winter Olympics, China has tightened its tight controls on Christians and their churches. Church leaders in Beijing received an official order to “remain invisible in public to avoid conflict.” This is reported by the aid organization for persecuted Christians Open Doors. Those who carry out church activities outside of Sunday services receive an “invitation to tea” from the authorities. In practice, this means hours of interrogation and fines, and prison sentences of several weeks are also possible.

President Xi Jinping sees the Christian faith as a threat to the regime and wants to “sinicize” Christianity, ie adapt it to Chinese culture and socialist values. The aim is absolute control of all religious activities and content. The pressure on Christians is constantly increasing due to ever stricter censorship and surveillance measures. Since 2013, the regime has closed or destroyed more than 20,000 churches or religious institutions. Worship services are monitored by cameras, and children and young people are not allowed to attend. Crosses must be taken down and replaced with images of Xi Jinping. Dissenters are jailed, particularly pastors.

Drastic restrictions on Christian content on the Internet

On March 1, another ordinance will come into force, significantly restricting the use of the Internet for sharing religious content. This was decided and published at the “National Conference on Religious Work” on December 3-4, 2021 in Beijing. Accordingly, online sermons may only be organized and carried out by religious groups, schools and churches that have received a “license for religious information services on the Internet”. The acquisition of the license is linked to very high hurdles that severely restrict freedom of belief. A private blog with Christian content, for example, is no longer permitted. Online religious activities may not be organized, broadcast live, or recorded without a license. This makes both the dissemination of Christian content and the use of the Internet for virtual meetings almost impossible. In view of the comprehensive shift of many church activities to the Internet in the context of the pandemic, the consequences of the regulation can hardly be estimated.

China has fallen from 43rd in 2018 to 17th on the World Persecution Index, which ranks the 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted. Open Doors calls on Christians in Germany to pray and to support Christians in China.

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Original content from: Open Doors Deutschland eV, transmitted by news aktuell


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