Video: After Uyghur Muslims, Christians are being hunted in China - Bible banned

china church demolition

China in recent months unleashed a major crackdown on the "booming house churches" where raids were carried out by the government officials.

The worshippers were told that as per the law, Christians are not allowed to read the Bible as it comes under banned books.

Religous freedom is merely an illusion inside the iron curtain. In the past months, even as Beijing continued with its policy of repression against the Uyghur Muslims, the United States approved a bill to impose severe sanctions on China over its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Since 2017, reports of detention of at least a million Uyghur Muslims have continued to make headlines, and it has now emerged that China systematically has been repressing even the Christians in China.

Its most recent crackdown has been focused on "house churches" aka the underground churches that operate mostly without legal approval from the government.

The report that first appeared in Bitter Winter, a magazine focused on religious freedom and human rights in China, revealed that since August, a dozen home churches have been raided. Besides that, the government officials also barged into the homes of several congregation members and destroyed pictures and books.

"From now on, you are not allowed to meet here, nor are you allowed to read the Bible," a local government official told the church members. "According to orders from the central government, the Bible is banned."

The anti-church squad officials also told the locals that the government was carrying out raids on the home churches as part of a "clean up" drive against gang crime or anything that was "evil."

"They turn a blind eye on evil-doers and criminals but persecute us Christians," an elderly member of a banned House Church told Bitter Winter.

The crackdown in recent months has mainly been concentrated around Shandong - a coastal province located in East China region and Yunnan province in Southwest China.

Christianity appeared in China in the 7th century and even though the People's Republic of China has been strict against those practising the faith, it is estimated that there are at least 31 million Christians in China. International Christian organizations claim that number is much higher as many do not publicly profess their faith.

Since 1949 after the rise of the Communist Party, the Christian communities in the country were ordered to attend government-approved churches. The government, however, asks the church-goers to a church that is located miles away from their respective towns.