Pastor Wang Yi said that the Chinese regime led by Xi Jinping views Chinese Christians as the main thing standing in front of totalitarianism.
Now authorities routinely target houses of worship, destroy crosses, burn Bibles and arrest pastors.
Mr. Fengang, who once predicted that China could become the world’s largest Christian nation, says the government, headed by Xi Jinping, views Christianity as a threat to the party’s long-term political aspirations.
“Christians are the remaining NGO’s (non-governmental organization) in the shrinking civil society in China,” Wang warned. “Under Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, they are really trying to establish a totalitarian rule of Chinese society and the Christians are standing in the way of totalitarianism, so that’s why they’ve become a target.”
Pictures shared on Early Rain’s Facebook page claim to show that police physically abused some of those arrested after they were taken into custody.
Foreseeing his possible arrest, pastor Wang wrote a letter titled “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience” with instructions that it should be published if he went missing for more than 48 hours.
In it, Wang vowed to use non-violent methods to stand against Chinese laws he believed were against the Bible and God.
“My saviour Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws,” Wang wrote. “I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience,” he added.
Wang is boldly pushing back against the government’s harsh treatment of Christians.
“As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely,” Wang wrote. “The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God.”
“Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things,” Wang warned. “However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life, and no one can raise me from the dead.”
Read Pastor Wang Yi’s full letter here.
This news is compounded by the fact the Catholic church has really turned their back on these Catholics. A rumored deal between Pope Francis and the Communist regime has been reported by Multiple news outlets in and outside of China.
Here is a framework from the deal form The Wall Street Journal:
The controversial deal would include the first official recognition by Beijing that the pope is the head of the Catholic Church in China. In return, Pope Francis would formally recognize seven excommunicated Chinese bishops who were appointed by the Communist government without Vatican approval.
“It is a baby step by China toward recognizing some of the framework of the Western world,” said Francesco Sisci, an Italian who teaches international relations at China Renmin University in Beijing. “It doesn’t go as far as recognizing what we in the West call religious freedom but it is a degree of religious autonomy.
Others, including some U.S. diplomats, are concerned the pope is conceding a strong influence over church leadership to an avowedly atheist authoritarian regime.
“This is a strange step backward on terrain over which the church has fought, not for centuries but millennia,” said Sandro Magister, a Vatican expert who writes for Italy’s L’Espresso magazine. “The church has managed to free itself from control of sovereigns and governments on ecclesiastical matters such as the naming of bishops, but now this achievement is clamorously contradicted by the agreement with China.”
This is from the Global Times in China, a state-run media platform.
Finalizing the deal between China and the Vatican will help promote the unity of the two communities. However, the efforts to ink the deal drew criticisms from Western media who accused the Vatican of “turning a blind eye to Chinese threats to religious freedom.”
In China, every citizen enjoys the freedom to choose whether to believe in a religion, to believe in a certain religion or in a denomination of the same religion. But meanwhile, all religious activities must be carried out in accordance with the law and cannot pose threats to social order and stability. No illegal religious activities can be exempted from punishment nor will any legal activities be suppressed.
Religious development should adapt to the actual needs of social and national development. However, some Western forces and media are keen on intervening in China’s religious affairs, ignoring the needs of China’s social and national governance, which is of no help to the religion’s long-term development.