China: Township Gov't Suppresses Christianity; Confiscates Bibles

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News)-- The government of Mengka Township in Yunnan Province has a long history of suppressing the spread of Christianity by persecuting missionaries and banning personal Bibles.

Although Mengka Township is the home of the Wa minority, across its border in Myanmar is another large Wa community, traditionally known as Wa State. Although lacking in social and economic development, it boasts a long history of faith: many Wa are descended from Christians who converted generations earlier.

In Myanmar, believers can freely worship God,  proclaim the Gospel and build churches, but their fellow Wa on the Chinese side of the border have no such freedoms; they're not allowed to build churches, to gather for Sunday worship or even study the Bible.

This year, the Mengka Township government and its judicial office went into each Wa village searching for Bibles house-to-house. Village committee officials often guide government inspectors into each family's home in order to forcibly confiscate their Bibles, and anyone refusing to surrender their Bibles soon discover that their income and agricultural benefits have been abruptly terminated.

The Township government has been relentless in proclaiming that "believing in religion is a crime," making it impossible for believers to participate in any Christian activities; so, for many of the faithful, their only recourse is to cross the border into Myanmar.