China continues to become more dangerous for those who are vocal about their Christian faith.
Christian Today reports that 20 Christians are currently being held in “black jails.” According to Human Rights Watch, “black jails” are “unlawful detention facilities” in which government authorities detain citizens in order to bypass a lawful trial.
The 20 Christians being held include several pastors and deacons, as well as famed human rights lawyer Zhang Kai who has suffered continually for his efforts defending the rights of Christians.
Zhang is one of nearly 300 human rights lawyers arrested in China since July 10. He has represented churches which were under persecution for refusing to remove their crosses at the government’s mandate.
Christian Today reports that as many as 1,700 churches in Zhijiang have been demolished or had their crosses forcibly removed as part of a three-year “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign. Allegedly, the campaign is seeking to expose “illegal structures,” but many see it as an attempt to extinguish the influence of Christianity.
China’s president Xi Jinping and his government have been taking a hardline approach to religion, and many Chinese Christians are concerned about his leadership.
"Where are these people? We don't know, and now most of them have been placed under residential surveillance now instead of criminal detention," an unnamed Christian from Wenzhou told China Aid. "This is entirely outside the law. These are the actions of totalitarian regimes."
Publication date: November 3, 2015