tirsdag 25. desember 2018

As China Cracks Down on Churches, Christians Declare ‘We Will Not Forfeit Our Faith’

For months, Gu Baoluo had been looking forward to a boisterous Christmas celebration at one of China’s best-known Protestant churches. He loved decorating trees, singing songs like “Silent Night” and watching the annual Christmas pageant recounting the birth of Jesus.

But in early December, the police shut down Mr. Gu’s usual place of worship, the Early Rain Covenant Church in the southwest city of Chengdu, as part of what activists say is the most severe crackdown on Christianity in more than a decade. The police confiscated Bibles, shuttered a school and seminary run by the well-known church and detained Early Rain’s outspoken pastor on charges of “inciting subversion,” punishable in serious cases by at least five years in prison.