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 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

China: 6 Christians jailed as pressure on churches increases

Group of Christians praying together in Beijing. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Chinese court in the southwestern province of Yunnan sent six Protestant Christians to prison last week for their membership of an “evil cult”. The verdict comes as part of a provincial crackdown on cults, as the ruling Communist Party continues its national campaign to restrict unregistered churches before new religious . . . Read More

China: Christmas banned by university’s communists

China: Christmas banned by university’s communists
A Chinese university has banned Christmas in order to help young people resist the “corrosion of Western religious culture”, reports The Telegraph. A notice posted online at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, north-eastern China, said “some young people are blindly excited by Western holidays, especially religious holidays like Christmas Eve and Christmas . . . Read More

China: state-sanctioned Church says new regulations will ‘strengthen Christianity’

China: state-sanctioned Church says new regulations will ‘strengthen Christianity’
China’s new regulations on religious affairs, passed last month, are a “major event for Chinese Christianity, [as] they clarify Christianity’s role and strengthen her constructions”, according to the two organisations that comprise the state-sanctioned Church in China. The China Christian Council and Three-Self Patriotic Movement, which form the ‘lianghui’ (two . . . Read More

‘Uncontrolled’ growth of Christianity in China ‘makes government nervous’

Group of Christians are praying together in Beijing. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China’s Communist Party is threatened by the “uncontrolled growth of Christianity” in the country –estimated by some to reach 247 million by 2030, “making it the world’s largest congregation” – and China’s thriving underground churches can therefore expect a backlash, writes Eugene K. Chow for The Diplomat. Chow describes how . . . Read More

China passes new religious regulations ‘to prevent extremism’

China passes new religious regulations ‘to prevent extremism’
China has passed a new set of rules regulating religious affairs, a year after the proposed amendments were released to the public for the first time. The new rules, announced yesterday, show no significant alterations to last year’s proposals, though there is noticeably less detail given regarding those who will be . . . Read More