2014 was the most troubling year for Christians in China than in decades.
According to media reports, 2014 was hardest year for Christians in China as trouble began in the spring last year when the authorities in the southeastern province of Zhejiang began demolishing and removing crosses at hundreds of churches. Later on in July, a court in Henan province sentenced Pastor Zhang Shaojie of the state-sanctioned Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) to 12 years in prison for disrupting “public order”. Subsequently, Pastor Zhang’s appeal against the verdict was rejected and the ruling was termed as “harshest sentence and persecution of a church official or pastor since the Cultural Revolution”.
2014 ended with the arrest of Christian Korean-American aid worker Peter Hahn on charges of fraud. Four months prior to this a Christian Canadian couple was detained and investigated for “stealing state secrets”. Both cases represented the tip of the iceberg amid a recent targeting of Christian activists on China’s border with North Korea.
What’s more heinous Churches were forced to close and hundreds of South Korean missionaries denied new visas, which left them with no other option but to quit their missionary work and leave China. There are speculations that the central government has ordered a crack down on believers in areas where Christian population is the densest.