Open Doors USA Reacts to Chinese Crackdown on Christians
David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, reacts to reports of a government crackdown on Christians in China:
"I'm both burdened and angered by the headlines coming out of China in the last few days. They're a world power—a huge international trade partner—and yet they're burning Bibles and destroying crosses and boarding up churches? I'm hearing reports that Christians are being asked to renounce their faith in writing. This is archaic. China wants to be seen as a world super power, and yet, in their attempt to unite their people around the atheist Communist party, they've overreached and taken a huge step backward. My prayer is that leaders from around the world will immediately and decisively confront China's actions before more damage is done. We cannot stand by as they wipe personal religious freedom from their country."
The country, which ranks as the 43rd worst place in the world for Christians, has seen a surge in anti-Christian government activity, including the reported burning of Bibles, closing of churches and attempts to force Christians to renounce their faith.
Jan Vermeer, Open Doors field director for Asia, added:
"Persecution varies from place to place. Christians among the Uyghurs, a Turkish ethnic group living in Asia, for example, face a kind of double persecution. They are targeted both because of their people group and for their faith. They face pressure from their families and communities and may also be persecuted by the police if their beliefs are deemed to cause 'social unrest.' This is also the case for other ethnic minorities, including many who convert to Christianity from Buddhist cultures. The Han Chinese can meet in registered state churches or unregistered churches, but Christians who converted from the Muslim faith must meet in secret. We're still investigating the impact these new measures are having on local populations, but Han Chinese will be fined or their churches closed and other smaller, more vulnerable groups may end up in labor camps. Socially, too, there's also a big difference. Han Chinese Christians can face some discrimination and also resistance from their families, but those who converted away from the Muslim faith risk losing their places in their families and communities.
Christians in China gather either in registered state churches or in unregistered churches, but the pressure on both of these types of gatherings is rising."
About Open Doors USA
For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit OpenDoorsUSA.org.