China authorities run center dedicated to persecuting churches, according to underground Christians
The communist state of China has a command and control center dedicated to persecuting Christian churches, according to a Christian member of a targeted house church in the country.
In an interview released Friday, June 10, China Aid, a watchdog for Christian persecution in China, spoke on May 12 with a Christian member of the largest house church in Guiyang who revealed that there is a special government office with the unique task of targeting their church as well as other Christian churches.
Speaking in anonymity for security reasons, the member of Houshi Church shared that their church currently has six separate cases facing trial, including five church members. He named the church members as Zang Xiuhong and Wang Yao, and pastors Yang Hua and Su Tianfu. The fifth one is Yu Lei, a non-Christian. Yu and Wang were the ones who exposed a confidential document that tells of the existence of the state body created for church persecution.
The Christian personally considered the expose of the leaked confidential document as most unexpected. He thought that the document only revealed that the government has a big plan under wraps and that targeting their church is just part of this big plan.
He said, "I knew [the government was] going to do something about the church, but I didn't expect it to be so serious. If they have a [command and control center] they can mobilize all their resources. At the beginning, I just thought it was just at the city-level, but this document suggests that there must be some provincial level [government body] or an even higher on the operation."
Early in May, an annual report published by China Aid indicated that 20,000 Chinese Christians were persecuted for their faith in 2015 alone.
To combat the persecution, the Christian revealed that their church is currently meeting in small groups and in private residences. However, he worried that some of the leaders of these small groups still need proper training.
On the upside, the man believes that the persecution only strengthens the rise of Christianity in the country.
"According to the Bible, the church grows even faster under persecution," he said. "In China, even though there is so much persecution, the church still grows."
This echoes what Bob Fu, China Aid president, had previously stated that the communist state fears a growing population among Christians, their public presence, and social influence.