Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

No Major Change for Chinese House Churches Expected After Communist Party Leadership Change

  • Religion Today Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Nov 18

Chinese church leaders do not expect major changes after China's ruling Communist Party announced a new leadership team Thursday in Beijing, Open Doors USA reports. Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang will succeed Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao as top Politburo Standing Committee members and take over the presidency and premiership, respectively, in March 2012. Xiao Yun (not his real name), Open Doors director for China, said it is unlikely the leadership change will affect China's policy toward the church. "As long as we communicate with the government, they leave us alone," one house church leader stated. Yun said: "All Open Doors contacts give us this same message. The leaders in the Communist Party are not democrats. They want to stay in power, even after they step down from their official position. This means they make sure they select like-minded successors. For now, the Chinese church expects it can continue to grow both in size and in depth. The government will keep close watch, that's for sure, but severe oppression is something of the past. I like to say the government is improving, but on the other hand there are still some Christians in jail because of their faith. Christians are among the 400 minority groups ... that are still persecuted by society and sometimes the government." The majority of the Christians, however, experience growing freedom. China is ranked No. 21 on the 2012 Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians, compared to No. 16 last year and No. 13 in 2010.