Christian Persecution in China Up 42 Percent, Says Study

Despite Persecution, Missionaries Working Tirelessly to Distribute Bibles

A new report is detailing the severe persecution that Christians in China are facing and explains that instances of persecution are dramatically rising while the Communist government cracks down on unregistered house churches.

China Aid facilitated its annual Persecution Report, which detailed that cases of Christian persecution increased roughly 42 percent in 2012 when compared to figures from 2011.

The Texas-based organization said that there were 132 cases of persecution which involved 4,919 Christians last year. The report also stated that there was a 12 percent increase in the number of Christians being detained, meaning government officials have begun to imprison those who profess their faith.

Beijing had the highest reported amount of persecution cases in the country with the report detailing a total of 62 cases involving 934 Christians. The Xinjiang Uyghur region in northwest China was second, with 11 cases involving 382 Christians.

The report also detailed the government's plans to crackdown on unregistered house churches, which are seen as promoting radical dissent against the authoritarian regime.

House church leaders have been targeted, as well as churches in urban areas, as government officials impose regulations that require all house churches to register with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) church system or face police action.

But an organization dedicated to providing religious materials to those in need is bringing the written word of God for all who chose Christ.

Bibles for China gives Bibles to the people of rural China, where religious freedom is stifled and not always applicable to the Chinese people.

"We have about 30,000 [Bibles] that our team of four will hand out over a period of four days. It's really an exciting opportunity. When you get into these rural areas, if you find a Bible in these rural villages it was worn out tattered and about four inches thick from use," Barry Werner, CEO of Bibles for China, told Mission Network News.

The organization does get approval from the Chinese government before they leave for their trip to prevent any conflicts once they are in China.

"We get visas; we purchase the Bibles inside of China. It's the full Bible. What we would look at as the King James, but it's really the missionary version of the Bible," Werner explained.

Werner described a process that is heavily dependent on a sophisticated distribution network of international partners.

"They print everything for China in Mandarin Chinese, and they ship those out to 70 distribution points, which are all major cities. We then work with an organization that is able to purchase those Bibles through Amity, get them to the rural distribution point, and then send them out to the very remote rural areas from one of those 70 distribution centers," Werner said.

Even with Christians facing violence and punishment for their faith, fellow Christians are banding together to bring the word of God to those who have been denied the opportunity to worship freely.

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