The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) war on Christianity continues full-steam ahead, with roughly 200 Christian venues now closed in a single province and elderly believers throughout the country being threatened to renounce their faith or lose their livelihood.
Last summer, President Xí Jìnpíng gave direct orders to the eastern province of Jiāngsū to crack down on the Christian faith.
Area officials responded by launching a six-month campaign focused on reducing both unregistered and state-run Christian venues, removing crosses and diminishing the number of believers by coercion.
Likewise, threats were delivered to interfere with family members' employment and welfare benefits or hinder their children's future.
One local government employee said, "Churches must do whatever the government tells them to, even if believers are right."
Meanwhile, the CCP is threatening to cut off pensions for those who refuse to deny their faith and submit totally to the atheistic government.
In the city of Fúzhōu, a Catholic woman in her 60s was told to remove images of Jesus from her home or lose her monthly government assistance. She was told, "The Communist Party feeds you. You must only believe in it, not God."
In the city of Tàiān, a Catholic woman in her 70s was harassed to replace religious symbols in her home with portraits of Xí Jìnpíng or Máo Zédōng or lose her welfare, on which she lives.
Many more examples abound. For Catholics, things have gotten increasingly worse since the secretive Vatican-China deal was signed in 2018.
Cardinal Joseph Zen: "It's a total sellout."
And there seems to be no sign the situation will turnaround any time soon, as the Vatican is poised to renew the surreptitious deal with the communists come September.