32 Christian missionaries arrested in China, reportedly as a result of a series of police raids on churches. The communist government appears to be aggressively cracking down on Christianity.
China's communist government appears to feel threatened by the rapid growth of Christianity and the bold public presence it has begun to have in the country. That is what the founder of China Aid is quoted telling The Christian Post prior to the news of the 32 arrests. The recent arrests come after back in September the Vatican-appointed coadjutor bishop of Wenzhou, Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin was arrested because he hadn't been approved by Chinese officials.
"The top leadership is increasingly worried about the rapid growth of Christian faith and their public presence, and their social influence. It is a political fear for the Communist Party, as the number of Christians in the country far outnumber the members of the Party." Bob Fu said.
The missionaries, some of who had traveled in past months and were based in the northeast Yanji region, had been helping fugitives fleeing North Korea apart from preaching in the area, according to UCAN, which said Chinese authorities are cracking down on Christian evangelism.
In its 2016 report, Human Rights Watch noted that China is facing several problems, documenting the arrests of various human rights defenders, including those who have stood up for freedom of religion. It said government authorities led a campaign in 2015 demolishing church crosses and even entire churches.
"In 2015, authorities continued their campaign to remove crosses from churches, and in some cases demolished entire churches in Zhejiang Province, considered the heartland of Chinese Christianity," the report stated. "At least a hundred Christians have reportedly been briefly detained for resisting the demolitions since the start of the campaign in early 2014."
Churches are now allowed to exist, or tolerated, but under tight control of the government.
Original article by The Christian Post / TRUNEWS summary.