China Tightens Its Grip on Christian Groups

The U.S. Secretary of State had already designated China a “country of particular concern” for its unrelenting and egregious violations of religious freedom.

(Photo by 360b,
Xi Jinping (Photo by 360b,

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has reported on Peoples Republic’s state-controlled religious organizations and their collusion in the government’s systematic, ongoing, and execrable flouting of religious freedom resulting in abuses against, among others, China’s Muslim Uyghurs and other Turkic groups, Christians and Tibetan Buddhists.

But now the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), feeling that its Christian groups haven’t towed the party line enough, is now tightening its choke-hold on those groups by ensuring that the state-controlled “patriotic religious association”—as the ecclesiastical organization that manages the religious affairs of Christianity in China is called—“adhere[s] to comprehensive and strict governance of religions, and carr[ies] out religious activities in accordance with laws and regulations,” according to Wang Huning, chairman of CCP’s top advisory body which includes overseeing religious affairs.

Wang, speaking at the once-in-five-years National Chinese Christian Congress convened December 20-21, made it clear that the Chinese Protestant community must unite around the CCP and the government, “adhere to the direction of sinicization of Christianity” and “interpret the doctrines that conform to the development and progress requirements of contemporary China, the core values of socialism and the excellent traditional Chinese culture.”

The ” sinicization of religion,” introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015, involves blending faith with loyalty to the CCP, with party loyalty taking priority.

USCIRF describes the CCP’s style of sinicization as “deeply coercive” and a cornerstone of the Chinese government’s institutional control of religion.

Wang exhorted Chinese Christian groups to avail themselves of a deep understanding of the CCP’s theories and policies of religion, and implement them.

The CCP has no compunctions about shutting down churches—which they’ve done on a large scale—or of reclassifying Christian groups as “cult organizations”—which they’ve also done, as well as censoring online references to Jesus and the Bible, removing articles published by Christianity-related platforms and jailing thousands of religious adherents.

With the congress held just before Christmas, the holiday season must have been a very sober one for Christians trying to subsist under these requirements. 


From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.

The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.

The Founder of the Scientology religion is L. Ron Hubbard and Mr. David Miscavige is the religion’s ecclesiastical leader.

For more information, visit the Scientology website or Scientology Network.  

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