China (MNN) – Dr. David Curry of Open Doors USA recently participated in the International Religious Freedom Roundtable. The meeting included United States Vice President Mike Pence and other interfaith religious freedom advocates. One of the goals—to hold China accountable for religious persecution in the country.
“China is perhaps the most sophisticated persecutor of Christians, right now, in the world. And by that what I mean is there’s easy technology, facial recognition, automated intelligence to track Christians, monitor churches, and so forth [for] creating a list or social score that could potentially be used very detrimentally against Christians,” Curry explains.
China was designated as a country of particular concern (CPC) in 1999 and has since remained on the list. At the meeting, Curry urged for new sanctions to help curb violations of religious freedom in the country. Curry also suggests the use of the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the U.S. to freeze assets and restrict the travel of individuals who grossly violate human rights.
“I think unless we put individual pressure on some of the people who are persecuting, I don’t think we’re going to see a change because China has, has the patience as a whole unit to continue to violate, because there have never been any sanctions against them for these violations,” Curry notes.
Persecution in China
But why is the U.S stepping up its game with China now? That answer is still unclear. What is clear is the problem will not dissolve on its own.
“If we don’t take it seriously, and they don’t see any corresponding pressure related to these violations of human rights, that’s going to continue to grow. People need to understand they’re interning people for their religious faith in massive numbers in the northwest part of the country,” Curry says.
The government has torn churches down and imprisoned pastors for their beliefs. In September of 2018, one pastor was imprisoned for refusing to have his congregation monitored by the government through closed-circuit TV (CCTV). Curry says this is not an isolated incident and that stories like these are happening on a massive scale.
Pray for Local Believers
But the situation for Christians in China will not change overnight, so will you pray? Pray for religious freedom in China. Pray for the pastors and Christians facing persecution to have perseverance and strength in their faith.
“It’s a new generation of believers. We need to pray for their leaders; we need to pray for boldness. There are more Christians right now…in China, than there are members of the Communist Party,” Curry says.
“When we stand up and obeying civil law, but stand up and say ‘Look, we’re part of this country. We want to be honored and respected and treated like good citizens.’ I think we will carry a large voice.”
Photo by Theodor Lundqvist on Unsplash.