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Though Christian support organization Open Doors ranked China just outside the top 20 of the world’s worst persecutors in 2011, its estimated 67 million Christians make up the world’s largest persecuted church (and some place the number of Christians even higher). But in recent years, publication of Bibles and other Christian books has dramatically increased, thanks in part to government approval. Still, as the 2011 drama surrounding Beijing’s Shouwang house church illustrates, the government continues to constrict freedom of worship in many places.

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  • Pro-Beijing lawmakers want to investigate the churches supporting Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement – Quartz
    Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing legislators are calling for an investigation into the funding behind the protests that have shut down blocks of city for weeks, and religious groups that have supported the movement are a potential target.
  • Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice | The Economist
    Increasingly, the party needs the help of religious believers. It is struggling to supply social services efficiently; Christian and Buddhist groups are willing, and able, to help. Since about 2003, religious groups in Hong Kong have received requests from mainland government officials to help set up NG O s and charities. In an age of hedonism and corruption, selfless activism has helped the churches’ reputation; not least, it has persuaded the regime that Christians are not out to overthrow it. For the Catholic church, though, the situation is trickier: allegiance to Rome is still seen by some officials as a sign of treachery.

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