It is interesting to hear the news this week that the United States has pledged to uphold religious freedom around the world. Or at least in the parts of the world it can influence.
President Trump announced new initiatives as part of a global call for protecting religious freedom at the United Nations General Assembly.
From what we are hearing out of China-things are going in the opposite direction. Churches in some rural areas have been forced to take down displays of the Ten Commandments and replace them with the words of President Xi-the communist party leader. Church have been threatened with shut down if they don’t display the messages.
Another report says the Communist Party has begun to restrict Christian activities for children, even shutting down Sunday Schools. It is ironic that despite the different views on religious freedom – Christianity is still growing in China, and it will overtake the US as the largest Christian population in the next decade.
I’m Russell Powell for the NSW Council of Churches.