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Churches are being transformed into “cultural centres” across China

To ensure that Christians cannot gather to worship, China’s Communist Party demolishes churches and turns them into entertainment venues, factories, or “cultural centres” promoting President Xi Jinping's communist values.

Bitter Winter reports that in April, the Guangxin district government in Shangrao city shut down a local church venue for “organising illegal gatherings” and refusing to join the Three-Self Church. A few weeks later, it was converted into a “Civilisation Practice Station for a New Era,” a nationwide project launched by the CCP in July 2018 to incite people of faith to abandon religions and follow the Party.

“Party propaganda posters were posted everywhere in the venue, and table-tennis tables were brought inside,” a church member told Bitter Winter.

Last year, more than seventy Protestant venues were shut down in Jiangsu Province’s prefecture-level cities of Lianyungang and Suqian. In August, at a meeting of Three-Self Church directors in Bailu, a town in Lianyungang’s Guannan county, town officials explained that empty churches must be rented or sold.

In recent years, numerous reports have emerged of Chinese authorities replacing crosses with the CCP flag, and images of Jesus Christ with President Xi in addition to converting churches into buildings for political activities. 

Mike Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state, recently stressed that it’s increasingly clear that the “CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency nor to freedom of navigation.”

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