China Seeking to Exert ‘Total Control’ Over Believers’ Lives, as President Xi Gains Newly-Granted Powers

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 18, 2017. (PHOTO: REUTERS/ALY SONG)

The concern for persecuted Christians and churches in China is set to grow following the 19th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of China, a watchdog group said, with President Xi Jinping set to rule for years to come.

Bob Fu, president of persecution watchdog China Aid, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Tuesday that the “clear signal” from the week-long congress, which is held only twice a decade, is that the Communist government will seek to “exert total control over all ares of life” of Chinese citizens, extending to churches and other places of worship.

As Reuters reported on Wednesday, the Communist Party revealed a new leadership line-up without a clear successor to Xi, meaning that he is likely to continue being a top figure even beyond the end of his second term in power in 2022.

Moreover, on Tuesday the party voted to enshrine Xi’s name and ideology into its constitution, elevating him to the level of Chairman Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China. Fu noted this is the first time this has happened in many decades.

BBC News reported that Xi, who was elected president in 2012, is now “essentially unassailable” due to his strengthened political control over the country, with his power and influence set to last long after his eventual retirement.

Xi laid out his vision for the future during the week-long congress, focusing on leadership and discipline, reform and development, national security, national pride, ideological confidence, and control.

“The party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in every part of the country,” Xi declared, warning that “erroneous” ideology must be opposed.

Fu told CP that concerns over the ongoing crackdown of Christians in the country, some who face accusations of being part of an “evil cult,” are only set to increase.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Stoyan Zaimov