by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Chinese government authorities increased their persecution of Christians this Christmas season by banning numerous worship services and carol events, the Christian Post reports.
Persecution of Christians in China is becoming increasingly commonplace, and this Christmas season showed a continuation of this worrying trend. Reporting on one example, watchdog International Christian Concern (ICC) said the Chinese government had instructed staff at Shenzhen University in Guangdong, China to prohibit students from having Christmas events and from displaying Christmas materials on campus.
Moreover, local pastor Yang Xibo from Xunsiding Church in Xiamen told ICC that Christians in his community were interrupted by police as they sang Christmas carols at a shopping center on December 24. The Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau and State Security also sent officials to stop the concert.
China’s government even forced state-sanctioned churches to jump through excessively burdensome hoops in order to obtain approval to hold a Christmas mass, the Christian Post said. One state-sanctioned Catholic Church in Jiangsu province’s Wuxi city had to get approval from at least eight officials before being allowed to have a service. According to ICC, these measures are further proof of “the government’s fear of religion.”
The suppression of Christmas, in particular, is not new for China. Among much other evidence of this, videos posted in WeChat groups last year showed Chinese schoolchildren attacking Christmas as a “Westerners’ festival” and saying it is “a shame” for Chinese to celebrate it, the Christian Post said.