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Chinese Communists Ramping Up Crackdown on Christians

AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis


While China’s brutal treatment of Uyghur Muslims has rightly garnered much media attention in recent years, Xi Jinping and his Communist Party allies are also now embarking on a brutal crackdown on Catholics and Christians in the country. In spite of this renewed hostility from the state, however, many people of faith in China are continuing to gather around the treasure of wisdom offered by their religion in defiance of the state-imposed religion of Marxism.

Many in China today remember well the intense persecution of Christians during the Cultural Revolution when thousands were imprisoned and hundreds of homes and churches were burned. While Catholicism and Protestantism are technically legal in the country, all churches must be registered with the government and adhere strictly to preaching state-approved content. Bibles can only be purchased from state-run stores, and all Communist Party members are banned from practicing any religion.

As is the case in all Marxist regimes, the fear among party leaders is that religion will undermine loyalty to the state, thus jeopardizing the government’s totalitarian control of the people.

Since Xi Jinping’s rise to power in 2013, he has quietly broadened the regime’s shadow war on Christian teachings, using state-run propaganda outlets to spread misinformation and portray China’s brutal persecution as a defense against dangerous “cults.” For instance, following the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month, an article from the Global Times (a Western outlet run by the Chinese government) blamed “fringe religious groups” for the tragedy, alluding to reports that Abe’s killer was motivated by Abe’s mother’s association with a religious group. “If Yamagami [the assassin] lived in China,” the article continues, “our government would have definitely helped him seek justice, punish the evil religious forces that caused his family to break up and his mother to go bankrupt, and even eradicated this religious group.”

The article goes on to accuse the United States of “distorting” China’s actions as “persecution of religious freedom,” when in fact the CCP is only protecting the Chinese people from “cult leaders who dismantled many families and swept away large sums of money from the victims.”

Xi Jinping, like Marx and Lenin, perceives Communism as a moral necessity for good to triumph over evil. To Marxists, the state and the party are the embodiment of good in a society. All who are perceived as a threat to their control are therefore by definition evil. Xi believes that in order for an individual to be considered morally good, they must have an “other-centeredness” – a love for the state above oneself, above everything.

This worldview was captured perfectly in a book published by the CCP’s propaganda wing last year entitled “Questions and Answers on the Study of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” In the work, Xi argues that the degree of a person’s involvement in building a socialist civilization determines whether they are good. Xi emerges in the book as a fervent believer in Marx and Lenin and a zealous opponent of Christianity. Just as Lenin and Stalin viewed Christianity as inextricably linked to democracy and free-market economies, Xi views Christian teachings as the primary threat to his quest for domination of the hearts and minds of the Chinese people.

Since Marxism is winning, Xi reasons, and will soon triumph over the world, all other false truths, including Christianity, must be extinguished. It was this line of thinking that underpinned Xi’s decision to ban baptisms and restrict anyone under the age of 18 from entering a church, attending Mass, or even listening to the Bible.

In response to this coordinated assault on the faith, Chinese Catholics and Christians have revived the wisdom and experience of underground church leaders from generations ago, especially persecuted bishops who perished at the hands of the CCP.

One of these heroes was Bishop Jacob Su Zhiminh, an archbishop of the underground Baoding dioceses, who in the 1990s stopped a bulldozer from crushing unarmed faithful defending the Catholic Church. For his refusal to submit to the CCP-approved state-run Catholic organization, Zhiminh was disappeared in 1999 and is presumed to have died in Chinese custody. Another Bishop, Joseph Zheng Changcheng, spent 28 years imprisoned in camps for his allegiance to the Vatican, devoting himself to care for the aged parishioners and orphans. Both Bishop Jacob and Bishop Joseph, although representing the underground and official Catholic Church, suffered like martyrs for their fidelity to their Christian faith and morality, rejecting Marxist atheism.

Tens of thousands of Chinese Christians are continuing to follow these examples and meet in secret, sharing illegal audiobook versions of the Bible and remaining true to the historical tenets of Christian teachings. These people of faith understand that the remedy for the generation that faces extreme immorality, demonstrated by the Communist Party, is teaching virtues and inquiry rooted in faith.

While people of faith in the West should pray for those facing such persecution in China and elsewhere in the world, they should also be wary of such anti-religious threads creeping into their own cultures. Just this past week, the Atlantic magazine ran a story entitled “How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol.” The narrative of that piece is eerily similar to the propaganda being pushed by the CCP, suggesting that anyone professing conservative beliefs and wearing a rosary may well be a far-right domestic terrorist.

As has always been the case throughout history, those waging war on religion are inspired by a deeply rooted insecurity in their own beliefs. Understanding as they do the fragile nature of their ideological worldview, they set out to tear down and destroy all opposition, by force if necessary. But Xi Jinping may soon find, as Soviet dictators did decades ago, that the truth can only be suppressed for so long, before his desperate grip on power begins to slip.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.  

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3 months ago

Not surprising, communism can only exist if religion does not exist.

anna hubert
3 months ago

The only religion communists tolerate is marxism Pope is marxist

3 months ago

Nothing will ever stop Christianity! Jesus calls all to Him for salvation!

Richard Minetti
3 months ago

While the Pope sits by and does nothing!!! He needs to resign and we need to get someone with “real” balls the lead us!

Linda Baker
3 months ago

How about God?

3 months ago

Communism is always heavily threatened by religious people because the leaders of Communistic Rule must have a God-like obedience from the proletariat population. In essence, the ruling (and by ruling, I mean in its strictest interpretation) of the people must put Communist top dogs in a god-like obedience for the ruling leaders to get what they want. In Communism, the top ruling faction of the Party demands and gets what it wants …. and everyone below the top dogs get what is left over.

3 months ago

Nothing new, part of the Communist agenda, it is starting to happen here in the USA.I have stopped buying any goods from China. We all need to stop buying Communist Chinese goods. There are products made in other countries that are friendly to us and not trying to kill us.

3 months ago

Lets just put things in context here. President Xi is “cracking down” on everyone in China ahead of the upcoming Communist Party conference in October. Where he will be voted a third term as Chariman of the Communist Party of China and likely made the equivalent of dictator for life. He’s tightening the leash across the board to demonstrate to the CCP voting members, that he is a strong, decisive leader. Something that is very important in Chinese culture. So while President Xi may be cracking down on Chinese Christians, he is also cracking down on everyone else in China that may hold values opposed to those of the CCP. Any form of religion, not just Christianity, is strongly opposed by communism, because it represents a potential challenge to the authority of the communist government.

Michael J
3 months ago

Persecuted Christians?Nothing new, repressive governments are full of zealots who are terrified of peaceful followers of Christianity. Freedom is what they’re really afraid of. Militant control can only suppress what they can see. Their goal to spread this type of tyranny around the world cannot be overlooked.
An polite armed society is not so easily controlled, but our rights are stripped away and we’re allowing it.

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