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Wikimedia Commons
World News

Could new clampdown hit China's underground church?

The country's underground church is among a list of groups previously accused of trying to end communist rule, stir up chaos and bring about economic ruin.

Wikimedia Commons

China*

- Population: 1.4 billion
- Main religon: Atheism
- Government: Socialism
- Christians: 97 million
- 33rd worst country for Christian persecution
- Source of Persecution: Communist oppression

*Open Doors UK

Groups and individuals identified in the past as threats to China also include those campaigning for ethnic rights, foreign governments and civil groups challenging the ruling Communist Party's absolute authority.

Speaking during a yearly meeting of the national legislature, China's chief prosecutor says he will be targeting terrorists religious extremists and ethnic separatists.

Cao Jianmin said his other priorities for the year ahead include combating corruption and cyber-crime.

Open Doors UK, an organisation trying to help persecuted Christians, ranks China among the 40 worst countries in the world for persecution against Christians.

It has said: "...among the Han majority, Christians continue to face restrictions from the authorities.

"Church meetings are disrupted or stopped, and Christian lawyers defending churches from having their crosses forcibly removed have been imprisoned.

"Foreign influence in the fast-increasing Christian minority is seen as a threat to the Chinese government's nationalistic control.

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