by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A Christian watchdog group in the UK published a new report this week on the erosion of religious freedom in China under President Xi Jinping, whose "sinicization" campaign has set out to absorb faith into the Chinese socialist system.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), in its study called "Repressed, Removed, Re-Educated: The stranglehold on religious life in China," observes that the "demolition of temples, mosques, and churches by authorities, and the removal of religious symbols and pictures from homes and places of worship" are among only the most obvious signs of a total state takeover of religion.
"There are also less visible changes, however: clergy removed from their positions and replaced with those with government approval; pressure on schools to check up on the religious beliefs of their students and staff; and surveillance cameras installed in and around places of worship," the report notes.
Xi Jinping at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October 2017 declared that "religions in China must be Chinese in orientation," the government rolling out the new Regulations on Religious affairs a little over a year later to shore up state control through stricter licensing that many biblical churches have been unable to obtain, leading to closures.
China is 23rd on Open Doors USA's World Watch List for persecution of Christians and forces churches to become mouthpieces of the communist state through the Three-Self Patriotic movement as a condition for legality.