“Even if we have a lot to eat, and a place to sleep,” says Mark Lee, ”in China, there is no freedom. The government controls everything, including your religion. You have to do everything according to their ideology.
"In China," he adds, "you cannot believe in God in public."
The systematic persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in China has a long and well-documented history. However, the rise of General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping in 2012, coupled with a rise in the number of practicing Christians, has brought a corresponding increase of religious suppression in China.
Perhaps even more sinister—and eerily reminiscent of the Mao era—the government is now policing Christian churches as a way to control the “hearts and minds” of their adherents.
“We could practice Christianity in secret, but then it became more difficult,” explains Mark. “But in America, you can freely worship. Here you can go to church every Sunday and have no fear of arrest.”