China Crackdowns on Missionaries
China expels dozens of South Korean Missionaries
As relations sour over Seoul’s planned U.S. missile defense system, Beijing has expelled dozens of South Korean missionaries working in northeast China, Christian activists report.
Around 170 South Koreans, including 70 missionaries and their family members, many of whom were working with North Korean refugees in the province of Jilin bordering North Korea were expelled between January 10 and February 10, Pastor Kim Hee-tae said.
“Chinese authorities raided the homes of the missionaries, citing a problem with their visas, and told them to leave,” Kim said, adding that most of them were on tourist or student visas.
• The number of registered South Korean missionaries in China stands at around 500, but according to activists some 2,000 Christians are offering humanitarian services there, including helping North Korean fugitives in their perilous flight for freedom.
• Kim said around 20 percent of the expelled missionaries were looking after North Korean refugees.
• He said some 40 fugitive refugees were believed to be have been forced back to the North as a result of raids.
Christianity is growing in both China and North Korea, this is a major cause for concern by party leaders.
• For example, since 1979, Protestant Christianity has been growing in China at a compound annual growth rate of more than 10 percent.
• There were 3 million Christians in China in 1980, compared to 58 million in 2010, according to the Center of Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University.
• By 2025, that number could swell to between 250 and 300 million.
Please pray for Christians in China and North Korea. As always, remember the persecuted as if in prison with them. Please support CFI’s Bible distribution program, including delivering indigenous language (audio) Bibles on digital devices for our brethren who cannot read.