Archive for January, 2007

Christians in China

Posted in Overseas on January 13, 2007 by Mike

This is a theme that I plan on covering quite a bit in the near future. While on Christmas vacation, I bought a book titled “Jesus in Beijing”, by David Aikman. I’ve only read a few pages so far, but it is a great book. It is amazing how Christianity is spreading throughout China, even in the Communist Party. When I begin reading it, I will give summaries of each chapter here.

So it was interesting when I saw this article last week, right after I had gotten the book. Journal Chretien tells of how Chinese police raided a Bible study meeting in a Communist Party school on 1 January. This came after the Chinese government admitted that there are now 130 million Christians in China.

“On January 1, 2007 a group of Christians gathered in an office in the Party School where the cadres of the Communist Party in Baoding City are trained to celebrate New Year by studying the Bible,” the [China Aid Association] CAA said. However, “they were besieged and raided by local Public Security Bureau officers,” the group added.

It said over 40 Christians were taken away for questioning, but that most of them were released in the evening. Those released several days later included the host of the Bible study group and the Party School’s Vice President Geng Sude and prominent Beijing activist Li Baiguang, CAA said.

CAA said it also established that on January 4, local police attacked a Christian gathering in Fangcheng County of Henan province.

“Three Christians were brought to the police station. Two of them were released the same day, while the other one, brother An Wenqing, a house church seminary lecturer, was released on January 5 after being interrogated for 14 hours by the police,” CAA added.

However despite the attacks, Christianity continues to spread in China said CAA, citing official sources.

“Mr. Yie Xiaowen, the director of the Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs, said in two internal meetings held in Beijing University and Chinese Academy of Social Science respectively, that the number of Christians in China has reached 130 million now, including 20 million Catholics. The Chinese government often underestimates the number of religious believers in its officially released figure.”

Bob Fu, a former house church pastor and current CAA president, told BosNewsLife that, “The unprecedented growth of the Chinese church has happened under ceaseless persecution.” He said his supporters, “pray that China will realize true religious freedom soon.”