Although Communist China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, the island nation just 100 miles off the coast of mainland China has been independent since 1945. "Taiwan has been a place for Christians to flee the Chinese regime," says Dede Laugesen with Save the Persecuted Christians. "They've long enjoyed the fruits of democracy."
She adds: "For decades, Taiwan has been a source of support for Christians fleeing the Chinese mainland due to the horrific abuse and suppression of Christianity in China."
According to Laugesen, Christians make up about 4% of Taiwan's population, about equally split between Protestants and Catholics. Their faith, she explains, centers around "a very strong belief that God is the ultimate source of power, authority, and truth" – noting that that belief "is antithetical to the communist viewpoint."
"The communists of China are atheistic, and nothing can stand between the individual and the power of the party," she shares with AFN. "No family, no faith, no entity can stand between the power of the state and the individual.
"So, the future of Christians in Taiwan would be severely impacted. [They] would very quickly come under serious persecution."
What type of persecution?
Laugesen, who is also executive secretary for the Committee on Present Danger China, suggests that "a mass deportation project would be undertaken by China" to move Taiwanese to the mainland for that re-education process. They would face a plight similar to that faced by Uyghurs and other ethnic minority groups in China, she says, and children would be removed from their families.
"Old generations will be separated from the young generations," she adds. "Sinicization will occur, where any images of Jesus are taken down and replaced with pictures of President Xi."
Clearly, Laugesen warns, Christians would not be allowed to witness and practice their faith.
"[Under Beijing's rule] Christians in Taiwan will no longer be the refuge of support for all the people fleeing from the massive human rights that China commits against its own citizens," she summarizes. "As a result, it will be very hard for people fleeing the brutality of the Chinese regime to find sustenance and support."
Open Doors USA lists Communist China as #17 on its latest World Watch List of the top 50 countries where it is most difficult to follow Jesus. That group reports it is not unusual for Christian leaders in China to be "simply snatched away … only to appear months later in a kind of house arrest, where they get re-educated."