China Warns Christians Not to Speak Openly About Persecution

A cross that had been torn down by Chinese government workers at a Protestant church in the village of Taitou in Zhejiang Province last year.
Credit: Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

An article from La Croix recently reported that China is warning local Christians not to speak up about persecution. That call to silence is unnerving for a country with more frequent arrests and demolitions, increased censorship, and other intensive religious restrictions.

How bad is persecution in China? Eric Foley with Voice of the Martyrs Korea says that since February 2018, “it has become a crime to be an underground Christian.”

But being a part of the registered church presents its own problems. Foley says that China is trying to “Bring the state churches under greater control in terms of their involvement in spreading communism through the church and through the church services.”

That leaves many Chinese believers with a nearly-impossible choice. They can either be associated with an underground church that is now illegal or be part of a church in which sermons are censored and surveillance efforts take attendance rather than providing religious privacy.

Keep Quiet

So where do silencing efforts come in? Foley says one of the major tools used against the church is interrogation. Investigations focus “not only your own involvement in that church, but you’re expected to talk about, for example, does the church have any connection with outside churches? Have there been foreign speakers?”

If authorities release someone after interrogation, they are then committed to silence. If they tell anyone they were questioned in an interrogation setting, they could face jail time. “The person who exposes that information, which is called revealing state secrets, can face between 7 to 15 years in prison simply for indicating that they were interrogated,” Foley says.

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SOURCE: Charisma News