China sent over 100 Christians to 're-education' camps in Xinjiang –Open Doors

China has sent over 100 Christians to "re-education" camps in the northwestern province of Xinjiang in the last few months to show them how to be loyal to the Communist Party's ideology, according to sources cited by Open Doors.

Ethnic Uighur men walk outside a mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, August 3, 2011. | REUTERS / Carlos Barria

A number of the Christians sent to the camps in Xinjiang had a Muslim background and were from the Uyghur ethnic minority group. A local church member said some were detained for one month, while others stayed for more than six months, Keep the Faith relayed.

The wife of a Christian community leader who came from a Muslim background has not had any news about her husband since he was taken away. Although she was worried about his condition there, she believes he will still serve God's purpose there.

"I don't know where my husband is right now, but I believe that God still uses him in prisons or camps," the community leader's wife said. "Sometimes I am worried that he doesn't have enough clothes to keep warm in the prison."

The government has reportedly targeted Uyghurs in its "anti-terror" campaign in the last few years. Uyghurs who have embraced the Christian faith have been snagged in the said crackdown.

In the Muslim-majority county of Linxia in Gansu province, the district education bureau has banned kids from participating in religious events during their winter break. The bureau's announcement came amid authorities' effort to gain more control over religious education in the area, Reuters reported last month.

In the city of Wenzhou, which is also referred to as "China's Jerusalem" because of its large Christian population, Sunday School lessons were banned last summer. However, parents resorted other ways to pass on their religious teachings to their children despite the ban.

While the Chinese constitution supposedly ensures religious freedom for all its citizens, there are also rules against using religion to hinder state education.

Inside Christian Daily