China launched a campaign aimed at expanding its control over “illegal social organizations” that are not registered with the government. This includes shutting down houses of worship that refuse to adhere to the beliefs of the country’s communist regime.
International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) is targeting organizations that use the words “China,” “Zhonghua,” or “National” in their names, and those working with legal organizations in an attempt to deceive the government.
President Xi Jinping has ordered that all religions must “Sinicize” to ensure they are loyal to the officially atheistic party. China’s Christians say it is the worst persecution against them since Chairman Mao Zedong.
Last year, hundreds of crosses were removed from church buildings in just one province over a period of four months.