In another sign of the crackdown taking place against Christians in China, government officials used what is being described as "thug-like behavior" to confiscate church property.
Late last month, more than 100 government officers raided the Beimen Catholic Church in the city of Ji'an in Jiangxi Province, shattering religious icons and statues and shredding religious posters. Gina Goh with International Christian Concern says the officers were employed to confiscate the church property, although they had no legal basis for doing so. She explains that while this type of action by Chinese officials is not uncommon, this particular incident was very sad.
"It was disturbing because they especially used forces and also against elderly people," she shares. "There were four elderly people who were at the church just trying to protect the church – and all of them are above age 80."
Goh tells OneNewsNow that Christians in China are preparing for more crackdowns, given that there will be a new set of religious regulations coming into effect in February.
"I think for this year especially the Christians in China have had a rough year, and it's hard to predict what's going to happen next year," she laments. "We can only pray and observe from this point."
She's hopeful, however, that a public outcry over this particular incident at the Beimen Catholic Church will lead to an investigation into the violent behavior of the government officials.