Home News Chinese Christians barred from providing relief to flood victims, says report

Chinese Christians barred from providing relief to flood victims, says report

Christian groups and individuals have been mobilizing to help in rescue and relief operations following the devastating floods

Listen to this article: Chinese Christians barred from providing relief to flood victims, says report

Authorities in China’s Henan province are reportedly prohibiting people who identify themselves as Christians to provide relief goods to those affected by the recent floods in the central part of the country.

ChinaAid, a Christian nonprofit group, reported that the Xinxiang Municipal Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs has ordered the ban on Christians.

The order said Christians are not allowed to mention their church’s name and are forbidden from discussing their faith or reveal their identity.




Authorities warned that those who would not comply with the order would be asked to leave the area.

Christian groups and individuals have been mobilizing to help in rescue and relief operations following the devastating floods that hit many parts of the country in recent days.

There were even video that circulated online showing police and firefighters acknowledging the help of Christian groups.

A local police commander in the city of Wuhan was even heard saying, “Oh, you guys are Christians …. Great. Thank you all,” before he introduced them to the troops.

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In many areas, however, the Christians had no choice but to avoid mentioning their faith when distributing relief goods to victims.

Xinxiang has been cracking down on Christianity in recent years, with hundreds of crosses removed and churches shut down, whether they were state-sanctioned or not.

Bishop Joseph Zhang Weizhu of Xinxiang, who was appointed by the Vatican, was arrested on May 21 and still has not been released.

Meanwhile, several journalists covering the floods also reported that they were harassed and even received death threats.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China criticized what it said was growing hostility to foreign media, some of which it said was fanned by official bodies.

“There must be immediate action by the Chinese government to stop these attacks which continue to endanger foreign journalists,” the BBC said in a statement on Twitter.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the FCCC and BBC statements.

In one incident, the local branch of the ruling Communist Party’s Youth League had asked its social media followers to report the whereabouts of a BBC reporter covering the floods.

“Rhetoric from organizations affiliated with China’s ruling Communist Party directly endangers the physical safety of foreign journalists in China and hinders free reporting,” it said.

Chinese nationals working for foreign media have also been threatened and accused of treason online, the FCCC said. – with a report from Reuters

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