Even religious venues that are managed by the government come under severe persecution, the CCP aiming to weaken Christianity and eradicate it eventually.
Henan Province in central China, home to a large number of Christians, is one of the main targets of the CCP’s religious persecutions. In August 2018 alone, 56 venues of the government-run Three-Self Church were shut down in Xinmi, a county-level city administered by Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan. In 2019, the government forcibly demolished some of the previously closed down venues or repurposed them for other use. Congregations are often pressured to “donate” their churches to the government.
Most of the shut meeting venues in Xinmi were built with the funds raised by believers, the cost of each ranging from 200,000 RMB (about $ 28,000) up to 3 million RMB (about $ 426,000). The total amount spent to build 37 of the 56 closed down venues amounted to 13 million RMB (about $ 1.84 million).
The meeting venues in Mazhai and Shipokou villages, administered by Xinmi, were built at the cost of 400,000 RMB (about $ 56,000) and 240,000 RMB (about $ 34,000), respectively. Both meeting venues were forced to sign donation agreements, transferring the rights to the government, which now uses the premises for CCP-related activities.
Caomiao Church in Xinmi was built with donations from believers – 200,000 RMB (about $ 28,000) in total. On August 25, 2018, the church was forcibly closed and converted into a cultural club. Some other churches in the city are rented to businesses and used as a warehouse
Protestant meeting venues in Nanyang, a prefecture-level city in Henan, have also been subjected to severe suppression. In the Nanyang-administered counties of Xichuan and Tanghe, to date, 95 meeting venues have been shut down, while in the county-level city of Dengzhou – 141.
A government official from Xichuan county warned local believers that the state is carrying out ruthless suppressions against people of faith across China since “they outnumber members of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Prof. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist, the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), who was invited to both conferences, debunks the report as follows.
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