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Authorities in Wenzhou City Launched “Religion Elimination Campaign” to Ask Believers to Give up Their Faith and Listen to the Party

According to an article from Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, in the last two or three years, the authorities launched a nationwide crackdown on Christianity in China. The locals were forced to take down crosses and the church pastors and believers were arrested. It is estimated that tens of millions of believers have been affected. In July and August 2018, the authorities in Henan and Anhui Provinces forced believers to abandon their beliefs, to promise not to hold on to their beliefs, and to pledge allegiance to the party. Recently, in Wenzhou City of Zhejiang Province, the authorities launched a “Religion Elimination Campaign” in schools and in hospitals. The students were asked to fill out forms giving their personal information, including about their parents and their religious beliefs. Teachers were also required to guide students to be careful in filling in whether their family members who are adults believe in a religion. This procedure was then used as one of the teachers’ annual performance assessment criteria. Members of the neighborhood watch committee were assigned the “political task” of printing the statement of their renouncing their religious beliefs and asking the individuals and their family members living in the assigned district to sign the form along with providing their finger prints. Then the party secretary of the local branch would sign the form and imprint it with official seal. The individual was also asked to take a photo or video when filling out the statement. All the records would be consolidated and filed with the local township. Meanwhile many Christian believers in Zhejiang Province reported that they were harassed and threatened. One individual from Ningpo disclosed that she was not allowed to attend Sunday family church gatherings and her job and family were used to threaten her. Another individual from Linghai said that there was an unusual power outage at one of the bible studies he went to. On a different occasion, someone left stinky garbage bags outside the home where the bible study was hosted so as to scare people away.

Source: Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, September 21, 2018