John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera: Chinese Christians Need Refuge in the U.S. as Communist Government Increases Hostility and Religious Crackdown

TO GO WITH China-religion-politics-Catholic,FEATURE by Tom HANCOCK
This photo taken on May 24, 2015 shows an altar server holding a text during a celebration of the Feast of the Ascension at the “underground” Zhongxin Bridge Catholic Church in Tianjin. Tianjin, 110 kilometres (68 miles) from Beijing, is thought to have up to 100,000 Catholics, and each Sunday hundreds pack the dilapidated building, some sitting on the floor or standing outside, straining to hear the bishop’s sermon over the rumble of passing trucks. AFP PHOTO / Greg BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

When the Communist Party took over mainland China in 1949, there were an estimated 5 million Christians. Three-plus decades of severe persecution under Mao nearly succeeded in eradicating Chinese Christianity.

Nearly. By 1976, less than four decades after Mao’s rise to power, Christians in China numbered between 60-80 million. That’s a low estimate. The actual number could be even higher.

As Evan Osnos of The New Yorker wrote a few years ago, “as I traveled around China, I stopped being surprised by my encounters with Christians.”

Today, as we’ve discussed many times on BreakPoint, the Communist Party is cracking down on religious minorities, including Christians. Among the reasons is that Chinese leader Xi Jinping has embraced a Mao-like cult of personality.

The current crackdown includes raids and even bulldozing churches, arresting pastors, and discrimination in employment against people holding religious beliefs.

Given this increasingly hostile environment, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that, as Fox News recently reported, many Chinese Christians are fleeing the country. Included in the report was the story of Liao Qiang, a member of the Early Rain Covenant Church, which was raided in December 2018. More than 100 of its members were taken into custody. After the raid, as she told the Associated Press, Liao’s daughter had to “report her whereabouts to police using social media whenever she left her home.” And she was informed that “her safety would not be guaranteed.”

This caused Liao to conclude China was no longer a safe place for him or his family. So he fled with them to Taiwan, with hope they will be allowed to enter the U.S. as refugees.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera