Christian persecution is rampant around the world, and China is a major culprit. China’s ruling Communist Party recently deported thirteen families from South Korea after they deemed their faith-based actions “illegal,” sending them back to South Korea.
According to the South China Morning Post, the missionary shared that the South Korean families were deported after their group leader was arrested in 2016.
Following his arrest, the other families were also detained, some taken from their homes, including children and senior citizens. The families were then deported for “being missionaries” and completing “illegal” work in China.
More than 30 South Koreans and Japanese people have been arrested in the Ningxia region and in Shanxi, Hebei and Henan provinces in the last month alone, according to the South China Morning Post.
Under the law, government officials in China are to arrest, detain, or deport any foreigners who are advocating for religious organizations, which has been heavily enforced by President Xi Jinping.
In the case of the thirteen South Korean families, the missionary shared that they were not proselytizing Chinese citizens, but instead simply teaching the Bible to the visiting North Koreans.
As a result, the families were given one week between their arrest and deportation, having to sell everything before being sent back to South Korea.
According to International Christian Concern, “the mission group’s contact with local Chinese found out that the security authorities of Yanji had been preparing to arrest the missionaries and end their activities since 2014.”
Not only were they planning this since 2014, but “the Chinese government hacked the emails and registered phone calls between the members of the group. They were well aware of the presence of its members in China.”
“Such act of tapping the communication is presumed to be an attempt of Xi Jinping’s government to demonstrate its power in the border area, where they see the admission of North Korean defectors as the root of the instability in the region,” ICC cited.
China’s increasing persecution of Christians and Muslims
Over the past couple of years, China has become increasingly more open about their disdain for Christianity, or any religious institution that is not state-sponsored.
Christians are not the only religious group under attack in the country, as China has reportedly detained one million Muslims in the region of Xinjiang in, what they describe as, “vocational training centers.”
For years, the Chinese government has claimed that the camps are “political education” camps for Uighur Muslims, when in reality they are detention camps patrolled by thousands of guards, according to a report from the Agence France-Presse.
As previously reported by Faithwire: “In addition, documents showed the Chinese authorities overseeing the so-called camps had made some disturbing purchases: 2,768 police batons, 550 electric cattle prods, 1,367 pairs of handcuffs, and 2,792 cans of pepper spray.”
Since taking office in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping has cracked down severely on religious groups in China and appears to be making no efforts to stop.
In 2016 the president called Christianity a threat, saying “We must resolutely resist overseas infiltration through religious means and guard against ideological infringement by extremists.”
The environment for Christians in China is hostile and only getting worse. Please continue to pray for those facing persecution in China.