China continues to arrest, torture and jail Christians associated with illegal house churches as they attempt to control or eliminate all religions. 1.3 billion people inhabit the oldest Communist republic, with an estimated 90 million being Christians.
Though many religions are being persecuted, Christians appear to be the hardest hit. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement and The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Society are the government-approved churches where Christians may worship legally. The loyalty of these groups is first to the government and then the church. Children under the age of 18 may not legally attend any church. Millions of believers choose to worship at illegal house churches rather than register with the government, despite the threat of persecution, torture and prison.
China’s present crackdown is putting more believers in prison or under detention than in any other country. The confiscation of church property and Bibles continues—even Bibles officially printed by the government. Yet the Church continues to grow with an estimated 3000 Chinese coming to Christ each day.