Christians in China are concerned that new laws may lead to an acceleration of the local churches. 26 authorities set new rules that make it difficult for Christians to practice their faith. Brent Fulton from the organization “ChinaSource” said, will there be new restrictions to prevent the spread of the gospel.
MHN: Mark a if a these new laws the beginning of the persecution of Chinese Christians?
Brent Fulton, “China Source”:
Of course, they are fully consistent with the fact that in recent years, we have seen in China. A widespread crackdown in the society. So in this sense, the laws, of course, came as no surprise. Moreover, many have been waiting for when the government would start to set new rules in the field of religion and to follow their execution.
MHN: are these laws specifically against Christians, or do they also apply to Muslims, Tibetans, Buddhists, and others?
Some provisions in the new laws concerning the combating of extremism and terrorism. They probably can be considered to be directed primarily at some of those you just mentioned. But there are other provisions. For example, unauthorized meetings and online activities, which seems to be aimed more at Christians in China.
MHN: Why are the authorities so worried about Christians? If they see in Christians a threat?
The attitude of Christians in China has its long history. Actually, Christianity is the Chinese associate with the Western powers. Some in the government still believe that the West uses Christianity in order to try to penetrate China. And in these new laws have articles that specifically mention “foreign agents”. I think most of them are concerned this is the influence of the West, which is through the Church.
MHN: Is there any dialogue between the underground Church and authorities to achieve greater understanding?
Still he fought, and in this sense, the new laws are just a big disappointment, because a year ago representatives of the Central government did meet with the leaders of the house churches and talked about what they are doing. Then many thought that more understanding is achieved. But now we have these new rules, and we seem to have done a rollback.
MHN: How the authorities are going to enforce these new rules?
This is very problematic. Now in different cities there are informal groups where about a hundred people, and they regularly meet on Sundays. If you try to restrict them in this, they will meet with families in small groups in other parts of the city. As a result, it will only lead to an increase in the number of groups, which means extra work for the authorities to keep track of all the groups that continue to meet. Therefore, the implementation of those laws, I see very problematic.
MHN: Brent, God still moves in China?
God is moving in China in an incredible way. I think the example of the city churches is clear evidence that God does. Urban house churches emerge in cities across China. They are very friendly and open about what you’re doing. They are inclined to participate in helping their community. And many of them are talking about how to send missionaries outside of China.