ADHRRF – Since the official implementation of new Regulations on Religious Affairs, the authorities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have intensified the persecution and suppression of religious beliefs. There have been a series of incidents involving the seizure and destruction of the churches and arrest of clergy in the mainland China, and the authorities’ crackdown in Henan is particularly severe. Since the beginning of April, Henan government has launched an extensive crackdown on Christianity and Catholicism.
Recently, sources disclosed to the reporter that at 7 o’clock on the morning of April 1 2018, a police car dispatched by the local Public Security Bureau reached the Catholic Church of the 11th team in Nanluo Village of Huiguo Town, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. Six police in uniform raided the church to arrest the priests. Having heard the news ahead, priests and nuns of this church left prior to the arrival of police. After the failed arrest, dozens of police officers stormed into the church two hours later and searched out 6 or 7 bundles of religious books, which were loaded on 5 or 6 police cars and forcibly taken away. From April 2 to 3, the police repeatedly visited the church to search for the priests but in vain. Afterward, a long banner reading “Actively report the fake religious clergy” was posted on the external wall of the church to incite the masses to provide tip-offs. During that period, some devout believers still insisted on attending gatherings, but were driven away from the church by the CCP police and warned, “Don’t have gathering here anymore, nor can any incomer live here.” Then the police immediately cut the power, and locked and sealed up the church. According to reliable sources, the Deputy Secretary of Zhengzhou Party Committee personally went to the area to take command of the religious suppression.
Besides Zhengzhou diocese, the crackdown also reached dioceses of Anyang, Puyang, Xinxiang, Luoyang and so on. Some believers said, Henan authorities have launched and are expanding a sweeping campaign to eradicate all religious beliefs. According to the report by UCANews, on April 17, the public security and local officials ransacked Xincun Church in Anyang Diocese, with the sacred objects taken away and the cross forcibly demolished; on April 18, the government took away children’s Bibles and holy books in Beixishang Church in Xinxiang diocese, and ordered to demolish the cross and take over all finances of the church; on the morning of April 24, the cardres of Dangdian Town in Shangcai, Zhumadian sent people to seal up Gedazhang Catholic Church in this diocese. As of April 25, eight dioceses out of ten in Henan Province have been hit by the government.
Prior to this, a source told UCANews that the authorities roll out a serious measures in five phases to crack down on Henan churches and now it is only the second phase. He added, “The government has dispatched 300,000 people from various departments to attack Christianity and Catholicism. Any resistance will have devastating consequences.”