China's ruling Communist Party has started a new crackdown on Christianity.
Churches were raided and demolished, Bibles and other Christian literature were were confiscated and new laws were established to monitor religious activities in Henan province, which has one of the largest Christian populations in China.
Under President Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, Christians are seeing their freedoms, such as they were, eroded even further.
Experts and activists say that as Xi consolidates his power, he is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.
Open Doors, which supports persecuted Christians around the world and monitors persecution of Christians, publishes a World Watch list annually. The 2018 World Watch report ranks China as the 43rd most repressive country in the world for religious freedom.
One motivation for this suppression is to clamp down on Western infiltration of Chinese society.Western missionaries may have brought modern Christianity to China, but Christianity is not Western in origin. It is estimated that there are 97 million Christians in China, and if trends continue, in coming decades it will become the country with the world's highest number of Christians. This suppression will fail.