07/10/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – An underground church in China’s Jiangxi province has been threatened by the Chinese government to submit to its power and register under the Sino-China provisional deal. This agreement, signed in 2018, allows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to take bold strides to demand registration and eradication of independent churches that have traditionally pledge their loyalty to the Holy See.
Yujiang diocese, which has nearly 20,000 parishioners, is under an intensified attack by the CCP against its bishops, priests, and parishioners, especially after the 2018 regulations on religious affairs were announced. According to Asia News, the CCP forbids underground clergy to preach and do other religious activities openly. These priests who have led the underground church have never been state-approved, as they have refused to submit to the 2018 Regulations.
Bishop Peng Weizhao and other priests refuse to sign the document to become part of the state-vetted Church, even under threat of being banned from preaching or evangelizing openly. If they submit, they fear that the CCP will replace them with state-sanctioned bishops, and a Sinicized gospel which deviates from the Truth.