Though one ministry leader wishes he could say hard times are not ahead for believes in China, he only expects the persecution to get worse.
Christian persecution in China has gotten so bad that residents in rural areas of the communist country are now reportedly being urged to replace images of Jesus in the center of their homes with a photo of the Chinese president. If they refuse, they risk the loss of their government-provided poverty relief package.
This latest crackdown on believers is a sign that the "government is taking advantage of the most vulnerable part of the population," according to Ray Pritchard, president of Keep Believing Ministries, which has a strong and growing Internet presence in China.
"It's really the first step to the development of a personality cult in China," he tells OneNewsNow.
Pritchard, a board member of the American Family Association, says the Communist overlords view the Christian movement as a "direct attack on their authority." So the oppression of President Xi Jinping's totalitarian dictatorship continues.
"He wants to consolidate his power to where he is unchallenged over every sector of Chinese society, and to do that, he has got to control the Christian Church -- to muzzle it, to stop the pastors from preaching," Pritchard explains.
In the past two years, the province of Zhejiang, where President Xi Jinping once served as the Communist Party chief, has been implementing a campaign to limit the Christian influence there. The New York Times reports that officials there have removed more than 1,200 crosses from churches and other buildings and in some cases have destroyed entire churches. The government is especially concerned about so-called house churches, which are neither approved nor overseen by officials.
The situation with Christians in China today is more difficult and dangerous than it was ten years ago, and the Keep Believing Ministries president laments, "I think things in China for Christians are going to get worse before they get better."