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(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee)A villager climbs up the steps toward a cross near a Catholic church on the outskirts of Taiyuan, North China's Shanxi province, December 24, 2016. Picture taken on December 24, 2016.
In recent months, there have been increasingly disturbing reports about the persecution of Christians in China. Last week, I received some firsthand information from very reliable friends who have lived in China for years. The news is not good at all.
Research - Friends - Examples - Persecution - China
After much research, these friends informed me that there were over 240,000 recorded examples of persecution in China in 2017, up from roughly 48,000 in 2016. This represents a very concerning spike in hostile activity.
According to my friends, "The government wants the world to see that China has reformed since the days of Mao. But there are other aspects of communism that that they do not want us to see. It isn't just about how the economy works."
Communist - Party - Citizens - Surveillance - System
Specifically, "By 2020, the Communist Party will attempt to monitor its citizens through a massive surveillance system called China Skynet.
"China's Skynet combines mobile phone GPS tracking, text message collection, 170 million security cameras, to make sure everyone is harmonious to make sure no one does anything illegal.
China - Media - Media - Networks - China
"China also controls the media. There is the state-run media but private networks are censored. So, while China, today, barely resembles the Communist State of the 1950s and 1960s in terms of economic structure, it still retains almost all if the other aspects of Communism.: state control, censorship and mass surveillance."
According to the detailed report sent to me, the government has implemented a three-phase, 14-year plan:
Phase - Churches - Government - Churches
"During the second 2-year phase, 2014-2016, it invited and then pressured the identified underground churches to register and become Three-Self government churches.
"In the current third, 10-year phase, the gloves have come off as both the remaining underground churches and even...
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