“In the Blue Book on National Security issued by the Chinese government,” Rev. Zhang Boli said, “it says the pervasiveness of religion is a threat to Chinese socialism.”

“The influence of Christianity,” he said “has now become more important [and is] emerging because of the lack of mainstream values systems in China.” But due to its rapid rise, the Chinese government is starting to crack down, which means not only taking down crosses but demolishing church structures, putting leaders of house churches under house arrest, and doing religious background checks on all government officials. “CCP officials have to sign a pledge not to believe in religion,” he said.

Chinese regime, especially when it comes to very sensitive religious of political issues, at the beginning does a little to see what would be the world’s reaction

Rev. Zhang claimed that in 2014, more than 60 churches have already been destroyed according to the same methodology. “The Chinese government,” he explained always has this habitual way of doing things in that they will first pick some pilot area to make them examples. They do that because especially when it comes to very sensitive religious of political issues they do a little to see what would be the world’s reaction. Because when the Chinese government started to take down crosses and crucifixes there was no reaction from the West. Many countries considered it as the internal affairs of China. But we know that religion is not an internal affair. Freedom of religion is the first and foremost freedom or right of the people.

In the Blue Book on National Security issued by the Chinese government, it says the pervasiveness of religion is a threat to Chinese socialism.”

Nevertheless, Rev. Zhang said that he is “optimistic about the development of Christianity in China.” But, he added: “I will never be optimistic about the Chinese government’s policy toward religion, because Christianity is in direct opposition to the Communist party as well as one-party leadership. … [But] the churches have grown in the midst of persecutions. The stronger the persecution the purer the church will become. The more persecutions the more lively the churches will become.”

Zhang Boli – Pastor of Chinese Church in Washington DC. Former leader of Student Democratic Movement during the protests on Tiananmen Square in 1989.