Why China is Raiding Churches

On a Thursday morning in June 2019, some Chinese authorities invaded the MorningStar Church in Guangxi province, detaining many Christians and church leaders.

The attack is only one of the many onslaughts the Chinese Authorities has conducted on Churches not registered under the Chinese Church regulation system.

The Dao En Presbyterian Church has also been banned, with three of its branches closed. The authorities went further to bar local landlords from renting out any property to the church.

While some churches have been invaded or banned, others have been demolished, bibles razed, crosses removed and minors barred from attending the churches.

According to Asia News, Liangwang Catholic Church in Jinan China was attacked in 2018 by over 40 policemen. The women caretakers of the church ejected and their phones confiscated. Later in the day, men with bulldozers pulled down the church.

In February this year, 3000 members registered church in Jiangsu-Chengdong, was attacked and its cross removed, which means while authorities cite churches failure to register with the authorities, the crackdowns target all the churches.

In one of the most popular church shutdowns, members of the Famous Early Rain Covenant Church were arrested in a crackdown on “house churches.” The pastor of the Church and four other members are still under custody since their arrest in December 2018. 

In the attack, police took bibles away and destroyed a school and a seminary run by the church. According to the Guardian, many members of the church continue to hide, and the church’s pastor is facing charges that carry a jail term of 15 years.

Many political analysts say, the Chinese Communist party does not intend to abolish Christianity but to have absolute control over it, and prevent infiltration of Western influences in communities.

Since early 2012, the Chinese Christians have faced harassment from both local and the national authorities, with many churches defying orders of registration citing too much interference of the government into Church issues.

The authorities and the ruling party, which is more atheist, fear the rising number of Christians and Islam s even though more than five religions exist in China. Despite the freedom of worship enshrinement in the Constitution from the 1980s, it is now that the authorities are finding churches a threat.

President Xi, who came into power in 2012, finds Christianity and Islam as a threat to his authoritarian regime. And while the US has condemned faith-based oppression, Chinese authorities feel immune due to the enormous control they have in the world.