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Officials Ban House Church in Sichuan; Believers Petition Government

Monday, September 19, 2011

China Aid Association
(Guangyuan, Sichuan – Sept. 19, 2011) Responding to ban closing down their church, Christians belonging to the Shangxi House Church in the city of Guangyuan, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, have petitioned the government arguing that it is in compliance with the law, ChinaAid has learned.
Si Chuan Guangyuan Shan Xi Church[3]The Religious Affairs Bureau of Guangyuan’s Lizhou District issued the ban on June 24, saying that the church leader was “not a clergyman and was engaged in religious activities at a venue not designated for religious activities.”
Prior to the ban, government departments had repeatedly persecuted the church and ordered it to join the government-approved Three-Self Patriotic Movement church. But the house church refused.

In its Sept. 13 petition, the church cited several examples of persecution, including, “In April this year, dozens of people from the Religious Affairs Bureau and the Public Security Bureau on numerous occasions suddenly showed up in the hallway while we were holding meetings, forcing believers to register their names, ID card numbers, addresses and phone numbers. They also repeatedly forcibly took believers to the police station for interrogation. A woman police officer threatened the believers, saying the police had the authority to lock up the believers for two months.” (See photo above.)
The petition sited many laws and regulations governing religious affairs to forcefully argue that the church is in compliance with the law. The petition in closing clearly reiterated the common heart’s cry of China’s house churches in response to persecution over the past 60 years: “What we do is simply for the faith. We want to meet together.”

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985

"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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