In recent years, the authorities across China have stepped up their efforts to suppress religious activities that are not officially permitted. Their actions have included the forced demolition of churches or the removal of church crosses, harassment and attacks on religious gatherings, and arrests of church missionaries and church members. In addition, there have been recent postings on the Internet showing that the authorities have been forcing Christian believers in China to sign a statement in which they renounce their belief in Christ. In an article, VOA published a picture of the standard renouncement form that contained the following statement: “I had limited understanding of Christianity. Taking on Christianity as my belief is also blindly following the trend. Now I have a more comprehensive understanding of religion and religious beliefs. After further studying Christianity, I have a clearer understanding of my spiritual needs. I announce that I will not participate in Christian religious activities from now on and I will no longer believe in Christianity.” Another Christian in Ma Anshan City of An Hui Province wrote the following personal statement, “After studying the regulations on religious affairs and on careful reflection, (I) promise not to believe in Christianity and will resolutely listen to the party and follow the party.” On April 3, the State Council published a White Paper reassuring that China has adopted the policy of freedom to practice one’s belief. Not long ago, however, 48 house churches in Beijing issued a joint statement criticizing the authorities for interfering in church activities and calling on the authorities to stop suppressing house churches and to respect the right of freedom of religious belief as stated in the Chinese Constitution.
Source: Voice of America, August 23, 2018