The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ramped up its persecution of Christians during 2022, increasing the suppression of churches and online religious information while demanding devotion to Chinese leader Xi Jinping that amounted to “worship,” according to a watchdog organization.
A Feb. 13 report by the U.S.-based non-governmental organization ChinaAid highlighted the escalating persecution of Christian churches and Christians in mainland China over the last year.
Chinese authorities have used China’s zero-COVID policies as an excuse to intensify the limiting or elimination of Christian gatherings.
The increased measures not only target independent churches, but also those that belong to the legal Three-Self Patriotic Movement.
China has approximately 96.7 million Christians, according to persecution watchdog Open Doors. It remains illegal for minors under 18 to attend church.
ChinaAid’s report singled out a police raid at Taiyuan Zion Reformed Church’s Sunday worship service in April, in which seven Christians were taken away.
Read more: China Steps Up Persecution of Christians While Demanding ‘Worship and Obedience’ of Xi Jinping: Watch Group