July 13, 2007
China's pre-Olympics Crackdown Corroborated
Compass Direct News is corroborating earlier reports from China Aid Association that there is significant crackdown underway right now inside China against Christians and other religious groups.
Christians throughout China fear tough restrictions on their freedom to worship in the coming year following the launch of a government crackdown ahead of August 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Christians across China are reporting a shortage of Bibles, even in cities where Bibles previously were readily available. There are reports of ongoing house church raids and arrests, and an unprecedented number of foreign Christians have been expelled from China in recent months. In addition, research presented at a government meeting in January revealed that the number of Christians in China may have reached 130 million, including 20 million Catholics – much higher than previous government estimates, according to a report from the China Aid Association (CAA).
If there are 130 million Christians within the borders of China, that is a staggering number and it suggests an utter failure of the central government's grand strategy of managing religion through the Public Security Bureau, the United Front, and the Three Self system.
If there are 130 million Christians within the borders of China, that forms the largest population of Christians in all of Asia's 3.9 billion people. Japan itself has a population of 127 million.
Who knew the church could grow so persistently?