The largest Christian community in China was attacked by the ruling party in China in an attempt to increase its control over religious freedom in the country.
According to the Associated Press, authorities said Presiden Xi is “waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.”
Guo, a Christian who witnessed one of such raids, Chinese officials interrupted a church meeting and told everyone to leave. He said they ordered the removal of all Christian relics including a cross, a Bible verse and a painting of the Last Supper off the wall.
Many congregations are meeting in smaller groups in person and online avoid becoming targets in the government campaign. The intensity of the government clampdowns has increased in recent months.
This year, the Chinese government enforced e-commerce retailers to stop selling Bibles and prevented children from attending church in some areas. Christians were urged to replace posters of Jesus with pictures of President Xi Jinping.