China: ‘For Christians, the “grey” area is shrinking’

China's Christians wonder what is next. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China’s Christians may not be surprised by recent tighter government control of religious affairs, including a ban on online Bible sales. But they are unsure what comes next. Following this month’s announcement that Bibles could no longer be made available online, large websites like Taobao, Jingdong, Weidian, Dangdang and Amazon . . . Read More

China: clampdown reaches Christians in Henan

China: clampdown reaches Christians in Henan
Local authorities in China’s east-central Henan Province have removed a number of crosses from churches closed a church-run kindergarten and asked Christian residents in one city to register. The “two or three” crosses that have been forcibly removed from churches were located in Yichuan county, and were taken down because . . . Read More

China pledges to protect religious freedom, days after Bible ban

Women, married to pastors who work in rural areas in China, meet in a church. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China presented an official ‘white paper’ on religion on Wednesday, 4 April, guaranteeing “protection” for religious freedom, just four days after banning the online sale of Bibles. The policy paper, titled ‘China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief’, was presented by the State Council Information Office at . . . Read More

China’s Communist Party increases control over religious affairs

The opening ceremony of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, held in October 2017. The Congress is the most important political event in China where decisions taken by the Central Committee are endorsed. (Photo by Prachatai via Flickr; CC 2.0)
China’s Communist Party has disbanded its Religious Affairs Bureau to bring religion under the control of the party’s Central Committee, in what some observers see as a further tightening of the belt. The State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) is to be absorbed by the United Front Work Department, an . . . Read More

North Korean explains growing up under Kim dynasty, and how his perception of Christianity changed

North Korean explains growing up under Kim dynasty, and how his perception of Christianity changed
Every year, for the birthdays of North Korea’s Kim dynasty founder, Kim Il-sung, and his son and successor, Kim Jong-il, John Choi* would receive a large pack of sweets from his parents. So would all his primary-school peers. However, before unpacking his present, John was told to follow the ritual . . . Read More

China: 100 Christians sent to ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang

China: 100 Christians sent to ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang
More than 100 Christians have been sent to “re-education” camps in China’s north-western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the past few months, World Watch Monitor has learned. In these camps, also known as “study centres” or “mind-transformation centres”, they are taught how to be loyal to the communist ideology. Most . . . Read More

China’s new religion regulations expected to increase pressure on Christians

China’s new religion regulations expected to increase pressure on Christians
All religious establishments in China will be bound by the new Regulations for Religious Affairs that came into force today (1 February). The regulations, which define the administrative framework around religious activities, have the stated aim of “protect[ing] citizens’ freedom of religious belief”. Detailed criteria are given for religious organisations . . . Read More