Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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China’s open season on Christians (with the blessing of the West)


THERE is a shameful, ongoing silence in the West about the plight of Christians, the most persecuted people in the world. 

Like everything else in our racism-obsessed society, Christianity is viewed through the prism of identity politics. The Left’s dominance over the discourse on oppression means that Christians are categorised as rich, white people, therefore maligned by our cultural and political elite and deemed unworthy of help.

Yet most Christians are not white and many live in dire poverty, risking prosecution, torture or death to practise their faith. Thanks to the rise of authoritarian regimes such as China, and the demise of the once free and strong West, their plight is deteriorating.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is accelerating its persecution of minority religious groups in China as part of its ‘modernisation’ campaign. China’s imprisonment of Uighur Muslims in concentration camps is ongoing. Chinese Jews, mainly living in Kaifeng, are banned from practising their faith and are subjected to surveillance and interrogation. 

But it’s now Christians who are being subjected to worsening oppression. Once one minority group is targeted it’s an easy step to persecute another, especially if the world remains silent. Around 97.2million Christians live in China, almost seven per cent of the country’s total population. 

In the past four years China has jumped from number 27 to 17 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of the 50 countries where Christians are persecuted the most. The CCP is heightening its surveillance on Christians, proscribing them as ‘hostiles’. 

Recreational parks, popular with Chinese citizens, are being used by the regime for propaganda installations which warn against practising religions deemed ‘harmful’ to the state and encourage citizens to report any proselytising they see. Families are told to inform on each other should they suspect adherence to any of the disapproved faiths, including Christianity.

It’s open season on Christians in China but don’t expect Western governments to object. Thanks to the venal, weak governments which dominate the West, and their mostly supine, complacent populace, the CCP has conquered the West without firing a single shot.

The more economic power China wields, the less resources the rest of the world has to fight its dominance. Islamic nations indebted to the CCP via the Belt and Road Initiative don’t protest about the persecution of the Uighur Muslims because they have no wish to bite the hand which feeds them. African and European countries are reluctant to protest against China’s persecution of Christians for the same reason. 

Having sold lockdown propaganda to the gullible West, crashing economies and destroying societies, China is poised to become the world’s economic superpower. Newly impoverished Western nations, increasingly reliant on trade and aid from China, will be reluctant to admonish the CCP on its persecution of minority faith groups. 

The ties between Britain’s pernicious Johnson Junta and the CCP run deep, not only through the millions given to CCP in the guise of foreign aid but also with trade. China is now Britain’s biggest export market. In an act of extreme obtusity the British government also finances the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative, responsible for a brutal colonisation of parts of Africa. 

More than a third of the world’s Christians live in sub-Saharan Africa and by 2060 that proportion is projected to be just under half. Christian Africans face the twin threat of persecution from Islamists and the CCP. 

Middle Eastern Christians are in a similar position, made worse by the strengthening of economic and diplomatic ties between Iran and China. Iran is number eight on Open Doors’ World Watch List ranking. Around 800,000 Christians live in Iran, a mere one per cent of the population there. Converts and Christians from a Muslim background are subjected to tyranny, classified as second-class citizens, with their secret churches raided and their leaders imprisoned for years. Like Christians in China, they face the perpetual threat of being reported to the regime by their families for practising their Christian faith. 

China is rising in the UN, a despotic club which dreams up schemes to drain the Western taxpayer and enrich the Swiss bank accounts of numerous dictators. No help for persecuted Christians will come from there either. 

Christians are even more vulnerable now to persecution, especially in places where the long arm of the CCP operates. Those who have historically persecuted Christians will continue to do so with impunity. Just as concerning is the increasing oppression of Christians in the West. 

Emboldened by their new found love for draconian power and seemingly eager to please their CCP masters, the Johnson Junta are targeting Christians too.

On Good Friday, Metropolitan police shut down a church service in London, accusing worshippers of breaking Covid-19 regulations. Under the pretext of keeping the public ‘safe’ from a virus, baptisms, a tenet of Christian practice, have been banned. 

Churches are being forced to go underground not only here but also in other parts of the West. Canada now imprisons Christian pastors for holding church services, forcing worshippers to go underground. 

Another Canadian pastor was harassed during an Easter Monday service by police who claimed they were checking that Covid regulations weren’t being broken. Pastor Artur Pawlowski is quite right in accusing Canadian police of ‘intimidating’ Christian worshippers. 

The CCP sees Christians as a threat to state unity and identity, the mullahs of Tehran accuse them of undermining Islam and now Britain and Canada denounce the practice of Christian faith as a menace to public health.

Authoritarian regimes often use the excuse of keeping citizens ‘safe’ or ‘unified’ to implement draconian laws and tyrannise minority groups. Regimes which force Christians to worship underground are morally and spiritually bankrupt. It’s even more abhorrent when done in a traditionally Christian country such as Britain. 

In 2018 I wrote about the need for a Christian Remembrance Alliance, similar to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, written to prevent another genocide against Jews. This is now needed urgently. Christians are not faced with genocide . . . yet. 

The West must come to its senses and blacklist China, otherwise the persecution of Christians there, and everywhere else, will most probably accelerate. The proposed boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics next February is a good place to start. Our MPs and the MSM woefully lack any integrity. They are collectively terrified of being accused of racism should they protest against this heinous suffering. It’s up to the rest of us to help our Christian brothers and sisters. 

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Karen Harradine
Karen Harradine
Karen is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on anti-Semitism, Israel and spirituality. She is @KarenH777on Twitter.

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