In efforts to strengthen adherence to the CCP and stifle dissent, China’s government imposed a national security law in Hong Kong in June. Since then, multiple pro-democracy activists have been arrested, and some sentenced to jail, accused of violating the national security law and subverting state power.
The prospect that China’s Christian community might reach a staggering 300 million people by 2030 has unnerved communist leaders who fear “they’ll have to share power” as the Church increases in size and influence, according to Open Doors’ Ron Boyd-MacMillan.
Boyd-MacMillan, director of Strategic Research at Christian charity Open Doors, told the Express UK that the Chinese Communist Party, led by President Xi Jinping, is becoming increasingly concerned about the Christian population’s growth and is cracking down on religion as a result.
“We think the evidence as to why the Chinese Church is so targeted, is that the leaders are scared of the size of the Church and the growth of the Church,” Boyd-MacMillan said.
“And if it grows at the rate that it has done since 1980, and that’s about between 7 [percent] and 8 percent a year, then you’re looking at a group of people that will be 300 million strong, nearly by 2030. And, you know, the Chinese leadership, they really do long term planning, I mean, their economic plan goes to 2049, so this bothers them. Because I think if the Church continues to grow like that, then they’ll have to share power.”
Open Doors ranks China at No. 17 on its World Watch List of 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted. The organization notes that while the Church is enjoying “strong growth,” life for Christians is anything but straightforward.