Why many Christians in China have turned to underground churches

By John Sudworth for the BBC

If Jesus was alive today, would he be a member of the Chinese Communist Party?

Well, perhaps he would, according to one Beijing based priest, who serves in an official, state-sanctioned church. But before we hear from him, let's go back a bit.

The Chinese Communist Party once tried to destroy religion. It failed.

And today, according to some estimates, there are more Christians in China than Communist Party members. Up to 100 million will be celebrating across China this Easter weekend.

But what it failed to destroy, the Party still wants to control. So, an officially atheist government effectively runs its own churches and controls the appointment of its own priests.

Like Pastor Wu Weiqing from Beijing's Haidian Church.

"We have to remember first of all we are a citizen of this country," he says. "And we are a citizen of the Kingdom of God. That comes second."

So then I ask him this: "If Jesus were alive today, do you think he would be comfortable with the Communist Party government in China?"

His reply comes without hesitation: "Absolutely. I think so."

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