Date: June 11, 2020
According to a Bitter Winter report, a widowed Chinese Christian in her 60s had her government support subsidy terminated after she refused to remove Christian pictures from her home and “stop believing in God”.
A cross image covered up in a Christian home. Vulnerable and elderly Chinese Christians are being put under pressure by officials to remove visible signs of their faith from their homes or risk losing welfare support [Image credit: Bitter Winter]
The Christian in Fuzhou city, in the south-eastern province of Jiangxi, had received the monthly pension subsidy of 250 Yuan (£28; $35; €31) since her husband died in 2018.
She was told by government officials that her only means of support would be removed if the images were not taken down. “Because the Communist Party feeds you, you must only believe in it, not God,” said the official.
Two months later the woman’s benefits were cancelled because she refused to remove the images.
In April, an 80-year-old Christian woman in Yingtan city was forced to cover up a cross image in her home by officials or face losing her pension allowance.
In the same month, a paralysed Christian nursing home resident in Fuzhou was threatened with losing his incapacity support including housing, food and medical care, as officials tore down images of Jesus from his room.
In January, a Christian woman (70) in Shandong was told to replace religious items in her home with portraits of Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong or her welfare support might be cancelled.
A believer facing similar threats from officials in in Henan said, “What should I do without my income? How can I reason with them? It’s just like the Cultural Revolution.”