Xi has long instituted a harsh strategy to crack down on the faith and has ramped up surveillance amid the coronavirus pandemic. Amid Xi’s pursuit to maintain control in the country, Dr Ron Boyd-MacMillan, director of Strategic Research at Christian charity, Open Doors, claimed China’s premier is becoming increasingly concerned by the size of the Church – currently estimated at 97 million people. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr Boyd-MacMillan claimed the size of the Church in the country is set to rise rapidly in the coming decades and may reach 300 million people by 2030 – thus creating a group big enough to challenge Xi’s government.
He said: “We think the evidence as to why the Chinese Church is so targeted, is that the leaders are scared of the size of the Church, and the growth of the Church.
“And if it grows, at the rate that it has done, since 1980 and that’s about between seven and 8 percent a year, then you’re looking at a group of people that will be 300 million strong, nearly by 2030.
“And, you know, the Chinese leadership, they really do long term planning, I mean, their economic plan goes to 2049, so this bothers them.
“Because I think if the Church continues to grow like that, then they’ll have to share power.”
The Communist Party has instituted a policy of Chinafication in the state in order to merge the church into China’s cultural identity.
With citizens handing over their personal details due to the pandemic, the Communist Party has been able to increase its surveillance campaign in the state.
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SOURCE: The Express, Bill McLoughlin