According to Chinese pastors and the US-based group China Aid, the ruling Communist regime has launched an oppressive campaign against Christianity.
According to the Associated Press this includes: “...destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith.” This is part of a wider initiative to “sinicize” Christians, making them loyal first and foremost to the atheistic Communist regime currently ruling China.
Bob Fu, a representative of China Aid told the AP, “The international community should be alarmed and outraged by this blatant violation of religion and belief.”
One Chinese pastor (who preferred to remain anonymous) told AP officials that his church was raided on the early morning of September 5th, followed by a purge of its bibles, crosses, and furniture.
Even by Chinese Communist standards, this is seen as a sinister policy. Fu noted that this is the first time since Mao’s Cultural Revolution that the government has been this repressive towards religious liberty.
According to AsiaNews the Vatican itself is allowing the atheistic Communist party to appoint its own government-approved clergy in place of defiant Catholic bishops. This is being done as part of a deal so that they will recognize approximately 20 bishops appointed by the Vatican and 40 bishops appointed by the underground church.
Former Chinese Cardinal Zen accused the Vatican of selling out their own people, writing in a public letter (Google translated from Italian) “Does Cardinal Zen think that the Vatican is selling [out] the Church? Yes, if they go forward in the direction we see in these last years and months.” He later adds “...is an agreement with a totalitarian power possible? You must either surrender or suffer persecution, but remain faithful to your conscience.”
The Vatican instructed Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian to resign and be replaced by Communist party-approved bishop Huang Bingzhang who had been previously excommunicated by the Catholic Church.
Under Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao himself, the country is simultaneously experiencing an underground religious revival while the authoritarian regime oppresses it from above. Experts project that China will have the largest Christian population in the world within a few decades.