Why does China persecute Christians

"Anyone who puts God over Xi Jinping must expect punishment"
New TOP 50 Index - Where Christians are persecuted and discriminated most severely

13.01.2021 – 05:00

Open Doors Germany e.V.

A document

Kelkheim (ots)

Huge re-education camps, a gigantic surveillance system, thousands of closed or destroyed churches and imprisoned pastors: China has no religious freedom. The country is only one of 50 on the World Persecution Index, with the latest edition of which the Christian aid organization Open Doors draws attention to the significantly aggravated situation of persecuted Christians. For the 20th time in a row, North Korea ranks first in the index. If Christians are discovered there, they face execution or forced labor to the point of death in one of the at least four penal camps for political prisoners, where currently 50,000 - 70,000 Christians are tortured. Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria and India follow on ranks 2 to 10.

In China, Xi Jinping aims to control and guide all citizens by means of "social scoring". Christians are in the focus because they worship Jesus and do not bow to the Communist Party's claim to rule. "Anyone who puts God over Xi Jinping must expect punishment," summarizes Markus Rode, head of Open Doors Germany. Since 2013, the regime has closed or destroyed around 18,000 churches or ecclesiastical institutions. Church services are monitored by camera, children and young people are prohibited from participating. Crosses have to be removed and pictures of Xi Jinping have to be hung. Since 2018, China has risen from 43rd place in the world pursuit index to currently 17th place.

In India, Turkey and other countries, religious nationalism threatens to stifle all church life. Under the Hindu nationalist government of India's Prime Minister Modi, the maxim "Every Indian must be a Hindu" still applies. The number of attacks against Christians reported each year increased fivefold between 2014 and 2018, and violence against them remains extremely high.

President Erdogan is pushing his agenda of Islamic nationalism inside and outside Turkey. Turkey's military offensive in northern Iraq has once again expelled many of the Christians who had fled IS from 2014 onwards from the Nineveh Plain to the Dohuk region. In northeastern Syria, Islamist mercenaries from Syria led by Turkey have expelled many Christians. According to UN reports, the houses and property of Christians were marked with an "N" (for Nasrani = Christians) - as was the case in 2014 when ISIS expelled Christians from the Nineveh plain.

The number of documented cases of Christians killed because of their faith has increased from 2,983 in the previous year to at least 4,761 currently. In West Africa and the Sahel region in particular, attacks by Islamist groups on Christians and their churches have increased sharply. Nigeria had the highest number of Christians killed at 3,530, the majority from April to August 2020 when the country was cordoned off because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has reportedly increased the pressure to persecute many Christians in Africa and Asia. They were often excluded from emergency aid and held responsible for the pandemic.

The largest increase in the persecution of Christians was observed in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by Turkey, Iraq and China. There are approximately 760 million Christians living in the 50 countries on the World Persecution Index. Around 309 million of them are exposed to very high to extreme levels of persecution and discrimination.

The detailed report with detailed country profiles, analyzes of global developments and the methodology as well as life reports of persecuted Christians can be found at www.opendoors.de/weltverfolungsindex.

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Original content from: Open Doors Deutschland e.V., transmitted by news aktuell