Saturday, December 11, 2010

China launches crackdown on house churches

There are more than 50 million Chinese Christians in
unregistered church networks.
Chinese authorities last week launched a crackdown directed at Christians who belong to China’s huge network of unregistered house churches, says ASSIST News Service.

A ChinaAid news release says the powerful Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party launched "Operation Deterrence" on December 1, and it is expected to continue through March 2011.

The foot soldiers of China's security apparatus— CCP Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Social Order—have been told to collect information about house churches throughout the country and turn these reports in to their superiors. A "blacklist" of church leaders and influential believers has also reportedly been drawn up.

ChinaAid had described "Operation Deterrence" as a broader crackdown on human rights defenders and activists during which 20 rights defenders were to be arrested and sentenced. The action was timed to coincide with yesterday’s award ceremony for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

However, the latest information, obtained by ChinaAid from more than one reliable source, makes it clear that the target of the crackdown is more narrowly focused and may be directed solely at China's network of house churches and their members.

You can read the full report here.

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