In response to the killings of two Chinese Christians namely, Meng Lisi and Li Xinheng; Chinese government has started tightening noose around the Christians in the country. It has been speculated that the two Chinese Christians killed in Pakistan, were missionaries and were engaged in proselytizing locals.
In line with details, two Chinese Christians were abducted on May 24 in Quetta- the abductors were masquerading as local policemen. Consequently, Pakistani forces carried out a three-day offensive against the abductors allegedly linked to the terror group ISIS. This operation was conducted in Mastung- that lies to the south of Quetta. On June 8, ISIS proclaimed killing of both the Chinese Christians.
Subsequently, China’s communist government has responded by conducting crackdown against Christians. At least four Christian preachers were detained Zhejiang province. They were later released but were barred from carrying out evangelistic activities. At the same time, the government continues to target house churches that are connected to overseas missionary activities.
China’s drive against Christians has continued to gain momentum. United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF) in its annual report said: “In 2016, the Chinese government continued its campaign to remove crosses and demolish churches. Since 2014, authorities have removed crosses or demolished churches at more than 1,500 locations in Zhejiang Province alone. The government also has targeted individuals opposing the campaign.
Additional removals and demolitions have occurred elsewhere in the country. “ USCIRF further stated: “During 2016, Chinese authorities arrested Christians for displaying the cross in their homes and printing religious materials, threatened parents for bringing their children to church, and blocked them from holding certain religious activities.”
“China also continued to target individuals affiliated with state-sanctioned churches. On March 31, 2016, Gu “Joseph” Yuese, former pastor at Chongyi Church, a Protestant megachurch in Zhejiang Province, was released from more than two months’ detention after being arrested on embezzlement charges. Authorities detained him again in December 2016, and on January 7, 2017, Pastor Gu was formally charged with embezzlement. Pastor Gu publicly criticized the government’s cross removal campaign in Zhejiang,” USCRIF sated while portraying anti-Christian drive in China.