(Washington Times) Watchdog groups say the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in China is at its most intense since the Cultural Revolution, as churches are shuttered, Bibles confiscated and believers arrested at rates not seen in decades.
Evidence of the crackdown was in plain view this week, when police raided Early Rain Covenant Church, an underground parish in the southwestern Sichuan province, to preempt a memorial service commemorating the 29th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre of anti-government protesters.
According to ChinaAid, an advocacy group that documents human rights abuses in the communist nation, 17 people were violently detained, including Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, who attempted to block the door.
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Pastor Bob Fu, founder and president of ChinaAid, said the number of people arrested in China for exercising their religious freedom “has reached the highest level since the end of the Cultural Revolution.” He cited internal figures showing a nearly fivefold increase in the number of Christians who were persecuted by the government last year.