China Continues Its Crackdown On Christianity
The Chinese government cracking down on Christians is becoming more and more familiar.
China has taken an increasingly active position in thwarting religion in throughout the nation. While the official Communist party has always held the line that there is no religion allowed in their party, their recent reaffirmation once again shows that they will not tolerate religion. All applicants who wish to become a member of the party, with an estimated 80 million members, will have to renounce any faith that they have previously practiced. While this seems as though it is business as usual, there is no doubt in the minds of many that this is a measure directed at stifling Christianity.
In the past, it has been said that there were fewer efforts to identify and quash religion in potential party members. This lack of diligence on the part of the party may have allowed people to fly under the radar with their religion, but this is apparently going to change. Officials from the Communist party in Zhejiang have announced that there will be new measures to ensure that all members in this area will be confirmed atheists.
— SMAReligiousFreedom (@SMARFreedom) February 13, 2015
The Zhejiang region is widely known as a Christian haven in China, and the new crackdown on Communist ideals appears to be a direct assault on them. With more people being forced to choose between their faith and their ability to exercise political agency, it is creating a difficult situation.
A History of Religious Problems
Christians have been finding themselves on the receiving end of laws and demonstrations that are designed to keep them from having a significant impact in the government. There have been numerous forced closings of churches in the Zhejiang. So far, estimates pin these church closings at around 300, with various reasons given for each. For some, it is a failure to adopt the proper building code, while others are closed with even less of a reason.
Even still, the Christian churches that are allowed to operate by the government must still conform to Chinese Christian theology. This limited approval of Christian activities appears to be a way to allow people to practice their faith within the limits of the government. This appears to be a way to limit the influence without the process of outright denying people the freedom to practice their religion. Still, many people in the nation see this as a dangerous precedent to set, and are waiting to see what other restrictions come from the government.