America seems to have grown apathetic about their faith. A recent Pew research study shows 97.3% of professing “born-again believers” have never shared the gospel with another person. Maybe we’re taking our freedom of faith for granted. I bet if you lived in China, you wouldn’t.
For the last few years, China has increasingly persecuted the Christian community in its country. The Chinese government is destroying crosses, burning bibles, closing churches and forcing Christian believers to sign papers renouncing their faith as the crackdown on religious congregations in Beijing and several provinces intensifies.
The suppression of religious freedoms is part of an official campaign to “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the atheist Communist party and removing any potential challenge to the party’s power in the country. The situation grows more dire everyday.
The persecution of Christians in China is nothing new. A report by the watchdog group Freedom House found that Christians and other religious groups in China have been persecuted since 2012. A third of all religious believers in China who belong to a faith group were also found to face “high” to “very high” levels of persecution, which ranges from bureaucratic harassment and economic exploitation to harsh prison terms and even violence, the report said.
But experts and activists say the Chinese government is now waging the most severe suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedoms were granted by the Chinese constitution in 1982.
The escalating anti-Christian campaign coincides with President Xi Jinping recent consolidation of power that made him the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, the notorious communist leader responsible for millions of deaths.
Activists reportedly filmed footage of what appeared to be piles of burning bibles and forms declaring that the signatories had rejected their faith. The authorities allegedly forced the believers to sign the forms or risk being expelled from school or loosing welfare benefits.
According to Chinese laws, religious believers are allowed to worship only in government-sanctioned congregations. But many millions of Christians belong to underground or house churches that ignore government regulations. Despite the repression, the Christian church in China is growing, with around 38 million Protestants, and some have predicted that the country will have the world’s largest Christian population in a few decades.
When I read what happens elsewhere, I often wonder could America face the same persecution? Could we see a time when the Holy Bible is banned? Scripture has a solution for that. Hide (the word) where you can find it.
Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”