It won’t be a happy Christmas for Christians in China.
The efforts over the past two years to turn Christianity into a state religion, actively supporting government ideology, has meant that Christians need to conceal their religious identity once again.
The threat of alternative Christian values has led to the demolition of many churches, the removal of public Christian symbols and the rewriting of the Bible to give it a communist slant.
School principals visit parents to warn them not to bring their children to religious services. If they do there will be retribution, even job loss.
Portraits of the president, Xi Jinping, Party slogans and the national flag are hung behind altars and at the back of the church in place of religious images.
Government-endorsed church leaders tell their congregations that their first duty is to the State, only second to God.
‘Red Wednesday’, a day to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians, was celebrated on 27 November worldwide. Churches and public buildings were bathed in red lights in in Australia, the Philippines, the USA , Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal , the Czech Republic, Hungary and the UK.
Did you notice it being celebrated in Ireland?