China is not ranked on top of the 50 worst nations for persecuting Christians compiled by Open Doors USA, as that dubious distinction belongs to North Korea, followed close behind by Afghanistan.
But China is building a pervasive system of digital surveillance-based oppression that is presently aimed at the estimated 125 million Christians there, but which could easily be duplicated in other nations and used to silence anybody who disagrees with the regime in power.
The Chinese Communist regime in Beijing has launched a massive campaign against the growing movement of Christians and their churches across China.
People are forced to leave services, pastors are arrested and sent to prison, and church buildings are demolished by bulldozers. All for the crime of professing an unapproved religious faith.
But what happens in China if you merely drink too much and say something critical of the police in a “private” chat room? Watch this leaked video of the interrogation of a man whose only crime was doing just that. Notice the shackle chair in which he is held, defenseless:
Chinese police interrogators grill a man for making a joke about them on social media. It was a private chat room. pic.twitter.com/S01IP300m3
Americans of all stripes tend to ignore the reality that the world is full of torture, persecution and martyrdom for millions of Christians in other countries. It’s not here, so we only think about it occasionally, if at all.
Sang-chul is a North Korean who faces the prospect of death every day because that is the penalty simply for using the word “god” in conversation with the wrong person.
Same for being found with a Bible or sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus. People are “disappeared” by their government, never to be heard from again for doing such things.
It’s hard to imagine how any of us would react in the instant of a trial, but two Iranian followers of Jesus Christ know for themselves, as they reportedly refused two judges’ order to renounce their faith earlier this month.
“Iranian Christians Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri were asked by presiding judges Hassan Babaee and Ahmad Zargar to renounce their faith, but refused to do so” during a January 15 trial, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).