The figures of an annual survey show that persecution of
Christians in China has worsened. But there is cautious optimism
for the future.
The 2012 report on "Chinese Government Persecution of Christians &
Churches in Mainland China," based on incidents confirmed by ChinaAid
founder Bob Fu, is just a tip of the iceberg.
"There were 132 persecution cases involving nearly 5,000 people
of faith -- the Christians, especially, and the Catholics," Fu
reports. "And the number of people sentenced jumped 125 percent
over the previous year."
He tells OneNewsNow that one of the purposes of persecution is
to intimidate church members and their pastors to join the official
government-recognized church in China.
He explains that the government usually takes measures like
"detaining church leaders and sending them to labor camps on the
pretext of suspicion of organizing and using an evil cult to
undermine law enforcement, and finally restricting the spread of
Christian faith among students."
Fu believes most people do not understand that imprisoned
Christians are providing part of the labor for making Chinese
products used in the United States, including iPhones.
But ChinaAid sees the leadership handover at the 18th
National Congress of the Communist Party, signaling the exit of
leadership of the ultra-leftist ideology, as a positive sign.
A bipartisan group of congressional members is now communicating
with the State Department, asking for ramped up efforts for the
release of a Christian -- who is an American citizen -- from an