China’s central government has intensified its crackdown on Christianity in recent months by pressuring local government officials to keep a count on the number of citizens who believe in God and to monitor them, according to a new report.
The CCP (Communist Party of China) even is threatening the officials in towns and villages with repercussions if the number is wrong. Three government officials in Yongcheng city in Henan province were suspended in April when their report to the government was too low.
“The government is taking the matter of religion very seriously now,” an unidentified local government official in the province of Henan told Bitter Winter, a watchdog that monitors religious freedom in the country. “Every day, they ask us how many people in our village believe in God. If we say there aren’t any believers, they claim that we’re concealing what we know and failing to report it.