The President of China is reportedly ‘terrified’ by the surge of Christianity across the nation and fears a 300 million-strong uprising within a decade.
Dr Ron Boyd-MacMillan, director of Strategic Research at Christian charity, Open Doors, told Express that Xi Jinping is becoming increasingly concerned about the growth of the Christian Church in China, which could reach 300 million people by 2030.
“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,” Dr Boyd-MacMillan said.
“And if it grows, at the rate that it has done, since 1980 and that’s about between seven 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,” Dr Boyd-MacMillan added.
Last year, an international Christian watchdog organization for persecuted Christians worldwide, warned that the persecution of Christians in China is set to rise in 2021.
In its annual Persecution Trends survey, Release International warned that persecution is thriving in Communist China, which has gone unchallenged by the international community due to increased dependence on trade.
According to the organization’s partners: “The government of President Xi Jinping is increasing its ‘clean up’ of anything that does not advance the communist agenda. They appear to believe that they can achieve this by systematic opposition.”
Release International’s website notes: “Tough new laws controlling religion have been imposed. Non-registered churches have been raided and closed in 2020, and increasing numbers of registered churches have been made to install CCTV cameras and put up posters proclaiming communist ideals and beliefs.”
The organization went on to accuse China of exploiting the pandemic in an effort to tighten restrictions on underground church gatherings.
Bob Fu of ChinaAid said: “The Chinese Government is trying every way to take advantage of the virus by increasing the crackdown against Christian churches. It has accelerated particular campaigns, such as the forced removal of crosses.”
It’s estimated that there is currently between 60 to 100 million Christians in China.