Magazine August 10, 2020, Issue

The Attempted Shutdown of China’s Christians

Worshipers at an underground Catholic Mass in Henan Province, China, 2014 (Gilles Sabrie/Lightrocket via Getty Images)
Beijing is exploiting the pandemic to curtail and subvert their faith

In Three-Self Protestant churches in China last Christmas, robed choir members again raised their voices in song, but this time their music was not traditional carols and hymns of praise to God. It was “My Motherland and I” and other anthems of homage to the Chinese Communist Party. In the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (PCA) churches, the Virgin Mary’s pictures are being replaced with portraits of President Xi Jinping, while half of China’s 98 dioceses remain without a bishop nearly two years after the signing of the Sino–Vatican provisional agreement. Subjected to a myriad of new rules, pastors and priests

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