China prevents overseas church aid against coronavirus

Release International
Release International

New rules force churches to demonstrate 'total devotion' to Communist Party

The Chinese government has rolled out tough new rules on religion, requiring religious leaders to 'display complete devotion to the Chinese Communist Party'.

Those rules limit communications between churches and overseas organisations, including donations.

But even before the new rules took effect on February 1, there were reports that Chinese officials were confiscating aid intended to help churches fight the coronavirus.

According to International Christian Concern (ICC) a Chinese Christian tweeted on January 27, 'Some overseas Christians shipped supplies designated to serve local hospitals through local churches. Yet the supplies were confiscated.'

The tweet continued: 'And the Christian who received the shipment was invited to "have tea" with the police (a common practice to intimidate and threaten citizens).'

A Christian human rights lawyer has also been ordered to delete his posts on the coronavirus. ICC say police warned lawyer Sui Muqing that his posts on the situation in Wuhan were damaging to the Party and ordered him to take them down.