China’s five-year campaign to suppress religious freedom affects believers

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A major annual report issued by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) earlier this month, has highlighted China’s five-year campaign to suppress religious faith, including Christianity, in the country, CNS News reports. The Chinese Communist party is pursuing a program of “sinification” or “sinicization” of religion that began in 2018 and is set to run until 2022.

According to the USCIRF 2021 report, the sinicization program targets religions the government believes have “foreign” influences: Christianity, Islam, and Tibetan Buddhism.
In the case of Christians, the aim of the program is to ensure citizens place their loyalty with the CCP and Xi Jinping rather than with Jesus Christ.

The program involves removing crosses and destroying church buildings, doctoring religious texts, and increasing the amount of teaching on socialist values and patriotism that is in government-endorsed theological institutes. Moreover, the program appears to provide for government raids on house churches, including the harassment and detention of believers and the removal of Christian books.

“These policies require religious groups to support CCP rule and its overall objectives and interests, including by altering their teachings to conform to CCP ideology and adopting architectural and other changes to their sites and symbols,” USCIRF said in its report.

“Both registered and unregistered religious groups and individuals who run afoul of the CCP face harassment, detention, arrest, and imprisonment,” the USCIRFreport said.