(Bitter Winter) — The so-called gray market, which encompasses places of worship that are neither legal nor explicitly banned, is the largest segment of religion in China and is continuously suppressed by the CCP. Last year, at least 162 such venues were shut down in Jilin, a northeastern province neighboring North Korea.
According to several internal Jilin government documents, in 2019, the province kept on track thoroughly implementing President Xi Jinping’s directives on religious work: ascertaining information on religious venues through secret investigations and shutting them down. They spent considerable time collecting and sharing experiences from across the country on rectifying house churches.
The government also issued multiple documents last year to intensify crackdowns on Christian groups, in particular those house churches that are associated with South Korea.
Consequently, numerous house church venues were shut down in major prefecture-level cities: 49 in Siping, 23 in Liaoyuan, 21 in Baishan, and 25 in the provincial capital Changchun.