After Muslim extremists murdered two Chinese missionaries, many hoped the Chinese government would take efforts to protect the country’s Christians. Instead, the government is cracking down on the spread of the gospel even more.
According to a BBC report, Meng Lisi and Li Xinheng went to Balochistan, one of the most violent cities in Pakistan, to tell local Muslims about Jesus. However, they were met by violent extremists who murdered them in cold blood.
Now, the Chinese government is cracking down on Christians in their country. Chinese officials arrested four preachers from a church in the Zheijing province shortly after the murders. They later released them but they are banned from preaching the gospel and are prohibited from giving any media interviews.
Xinheng’s mother says she is “proud” of her son for sharing his faith, but is upset the Chinese government didn’t “save our children.”
Many suspect China’s economic interests in Pakistan are keeping them from condemning the terrorists who murdered its citizens. China is investing more than $55 billion in Pakistan, a key country in its plan to connect Asia and Europe with a new Silk Road.
Experts also say China’s atheistic government views its Christian missionaries as a problem.
“They thought Christianity was a western religion imported into China, so how can you export Christianity from China?” Says Fenggang Yang, an expert on religion in China at Purdue University.
“This is new and the Chinese authorities are still struggling to figure out what to do with this,” he added.
Chinese officials have repeatedly targeted the country’s Christians and destroyed more than 1,000 church crosses in 2015 and 2016.
However, despite the crackdown, the recent murders of the two Chinese missionaries reveals that not only is the church in China alive and well, believers are even trying to take the gospel beyond the country’s borders and to some of the most hostile parts of the world.