Authorities ordered the demolition of the Yaochi Palace Temple because it supposedly “violated building laws,” the pretext often used by officials to crack down on religious meeting venues in China.
Since September, the United Front Work Department (UFWD) has launched its first-ever nationwide supervision program initiated by the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee to check on the implementation of religious policies in provinces and municipalities across the country.
An internal document from one of the municipalities in this northern province reveals a score-based motivational system for government and Communist Party personnel involved in the crackdown on churches. Top scores are given for the extinction of underground Catholics.
According to an internal document, the CCP is tightening the noose around the flow of information regarding its persecution of religion.
Bao Shuguang, a senior leader of The Church of Almighty God from Shandong, was picked up by authorities in June last year. She and four other church leaders were handed lengthy prison sentences this October.
Hebei authorities forcefully erected a flagpole with the Chinese flag outside the church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Zhengding, the residence of Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo, one the most prominent leaders of the Underground Catholic Church.
Even the most innocent faith-related practices or rituals may cause troubles with authorities in present-day China.
Municipal governments are following in the steps of authorities in other provinces to discriminate against students who hold religious beliefs.
Two giant Buddha statues were demolished in September, despite the attempts by local believers to protect them.