By: Jack Phillips
A report from a Christian charity has found that Christians are being persecuted at rates not
seen since the Cultural Revolution, which lasted from 1966 until 1976.
The Cultural Revolution, launched by dictator Mao Zedong, attempted to eliminate the “Four Olds,” which were defined as “Old Customs,” “Old Culture,” “Old Habits,” and “Old Ideas.” The campaign, carried out by organized groups of students Mao called the Red Guards, targeted the adherents of religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and others. Countless temples, historical sites, books, and priceless historical artifacts were destroyed. Religious expression, which permeated the culture in China during that time, was essentially banned, and it could have dire consequences. Millions of people were persecuted, tortured and killed.
Now, China Aid’s Annual Persecution Report for 2016 found that incidents of Christian persecution rose about 20 percent on the previous year, while the number of Christians imprisoned went up by nearly 150 percent. Officials with the Chinese Communist Party, which is officially atheist, also called for the forced demolition of churches and removal of church crosses.
The report also noted that Christians may have been killed for their organs—a grisly practice used mainly on adherents of Falun Gong, a form of traditional meditation that, during the 1990s, made up approximately one twelfth of the population, according to some estimates, and has been targeted for elimination by Chinese Communist authorities since 1999. Last June, a report said up to 1.5 million organ transplants may have taken place in China since 2000—most of which were harvested from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. [FULL STORY]