A Christian missionary organization claims to have obtained a top-secret Chinese government document directing a systematic campaign of persecution against Protestant and unregistered churches.
Editor’s note: A link to the English translation of this
document is located at the end of this article.
The Voice of the Martyrs, a group founded by the late Richard Wurmbrand, says the directive – the first ever seen by the public – proves Beijing ordered a crackdown on churches in Hebei Province last fall.
The document is a work plan order from the Public Security Bureau of Baoding to PSB sub-bureaus in all counties, cities and districts of Hebei Province, according to VOM. It instructs the bureaus to terminate “illegal Protestant activities.”
The document describes the work plan as an effort to “embrace and create a sound and secure social environment” in a concerted citywide action of the Communist Party Committee and the government in advance of the Communist Party’s 16th National Party Congress, which was held last November. The plan was to crack down against illegal Protestant activities from Aug. 20 to Oct. 20.
The directive – dated Aug. 20 – details the effort to “establish a secret force” to infiltrate unregistered church groups to gather in-depth intelligence against illegal Protestant church activities, according to VOM. Bureaus were directed to “set up full files; recognize influential people and illegal meeting places.” They received further instructions to clearly identify legal and illegal church activities in order to take action against those “which are organized by freelance missionaries, which are overseas infiltration; and prepare to terminate them.”
One section of the work plan details the establishment of a government task force created to send supervisors to Public Security Bureaus in all counties, cities and districts to assure the implementation of compulsory measures against the Christians such as “subpoena penalty, ordered confessions” and “detention.” Bureaus were instructed to confiscate “illegal publicizing” materials used for evangelism and are told that “stubborn members,” believers refusing to “voluntarily obey regulations of the government,” should be “severely punished.”
“This directive is a smoking gun,” said VOM spokesman Gary Lane.” It proves the Public Security Bureau is working on the provincial level to destroy unregistered churches and severely punish their leaders.”
The top-secret document also directed all grass-roots police stations to strengthen their daily management of Christian affairs to assure targeted unregistered churches would be prevented from spreading and staging a comeback. The document also informs the bureaus that awards would be granted to them “on the basis of performance and achievement.”
“We urge Christians everywhere to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in China who are suffering extreme measures against them by their government,” said Lane. “We also ask Americans to contact their representatives in Congress and the Chinese government to lodge formal complaints against this systematic targeting of believers.”
American Christians wishing to protest to the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., can contact:
Ambassador Yang Jiechi
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC 20008
Tel:(202) 328-2500 Fax:(202) 588-0032
Director of Religious Affairs: (202) 3282512
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