International Conference on Missiology “Missionary Martyrs and Religious Freedom” and an Academic Workshop “Freedom and Persecution for Faith and Martyrdom in Africa”

23–24 March 2023, Warszawa, Poland

Katedra Misjologii (Department of Missiology), Naukowe Koło Misjologów (Academic Circle of Missiologists),
Stowarzyszenie Pomoc Kościołowi w Potrzebie (Association Aid to the Church in Need),
Uniwersyteckie Centrum Badań Wolności Religijnej UKSW (University Research Center for Religious Freedom at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw),
Katedra Dialogu Międzyreligijnego i Pomocy Humanitarnej (Department of Interreligious Dialogue and Humanitarian Aid)

Zbigniew Wesołowski SVD:

Lecture “Chrześcijańscy męczennicy i męczennice w Chinach: Jeszcze nie zakończona historia ...” (Christian Martyrs in China: A Still Unfinished Story ...)


An interesting thing about missionary activity is the danger that accompanied it from the beginning. Of the eleven Apostles entrusted with the “Great Commission” to preach the Gospel, only St. John the Evangelist died of natural causes. All the other apostles died as martyrs. From the 1st to the 21st centuries, this regularity became a fact. It was no different in China.

After an introduction to Christian mission and martyrdom, the presenter gave a historical overview of Christian missionary activities in China, which began as early as 635. He then briefly introduced 121 canonized Chinese holy martyrs who died between 1648–1930. Then he informed about the persecution during the communist era (since 1949), a time that brought forth numerous nameless martyrs in China, especially during the time of Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). He concluded by talking about the current control, individual persecution and even martyrdom in China today. The Sinicization of religion promoted by Xi Jinping since 2015 means the absolute leadership of the CCP in the religious sphere, i.e., all religious people in China are now to become “useful tools” for strengthening the CCP and the Chinese-Marxist homeland.

Unfortunately, religious persecution and suffering in China are a never-ending story.