• Christians Persecuted in China

Christians Persecuted in China (Photo : Getty Images)

A Christian charity said on a report that the number of Christians persecuted in China have increased at rates not observed from the time of the Cultural Revolution.

The Cultural Revolution, which lasted from 1966 to 1976, was launched by Mao Zedong. The uprising attempted to eradicate the “Four Olds,” namely, “Old Customs,” “Old Culture,” “Old Habits” and “Old Ideas.”

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Organized student groups Mao labeled as the Red Guards carried out the campaign. The group aimed for the devotees of different religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and others. They have destroyed Countless temples, historical sites, books and priceless historical artifacts.

Religious expression, which is elemental in the Chinese culture at the time, was forbidden. Violators would face dreadful consequences. As a result, millions were persecuted, tortured and killed.

China Aid’s Annual Persecution Report for 2016 has discovered a 20 percent increase in the incidents of Christian persecutions on the previous year. On the other hand, a 150 percent increase in the number of Christians sent to prison was recorded in the same period.

Communist Party of China (CPC) officials have also called for the obligatory demolition of churches and removal of church crosses. The party is officially atheist.

Christians may also have been killed for their organs, the report said. The gruesome practice is used chiefly on Falun Gong adherents.

Falun Gong is a type of traditional meditation. According to some estimates, the followers of Falun Gong comprised about one-twelfth of the Chinese population in the 1990s. They have been targeted for eradication by the Chinese Communist authorities since 1999.

A report in June 2016 said that up to 1.5 million organ transplant may have occurred in China since 2000. Most of the transplants were obtained from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.

“I believe its ideology, mass murder, and the cover-up of a terrible crime where the only way to cover up that crime is to keep killing people who know about it,” investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann said.

Guttman assisted the release of the previous year’s report on organ harvesting in China. The report was fittingly titled “Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update.”

Referring to the statewide network of hospitals used for organ harvesting, he said that China has “built a juggernaut.”

Christians in China are still forced to practice their faith in homes or underground churches, said China Aid. The country is 39th in the list of the 50 worst countries in the world for Christian persecution.

In a report, China Aid’s head Bob Fu said that “the key findings of what happened last year and the reports from these first two months of 2017 have shown the situation of religious freedom is rapidly deteriorating.”

Protestant missions in the China were forced out of the country following the Chinese Communist Party’s assumption of power in 1949.

Various organizations around the world hope that authorities will look into the issue and help the Christians persecuted in China.