Online Government Report in Shanxi Province Boasts of "Success" in Abolishing House Church

Sunday, March 31, 2013

China Aid Association
(Taiyuan, Shanxi–March 31, 2013) A local government is boasting its success in abolishing a house church in a public report on its website that reveals in detail how the officials found out about the church and the entire process of the multi-departmental process of banning the church.

The March 14, 2012 report on the website of the Yinze District of the city of Taiyuan, Shanxi province, was a government news report lauding the achievements its administrative staff. It was headlined "Our District Successfully Abolishes a Christian Group" and detailed the entire process of the banning of this house church, including government intelligence-gathering as well as which government departments and officials participated directly in the actions against the church and which departments and staff played supporting roles, and the methods used to launch the attack on the church and to abolish it.

This case took place during the previous Chinese administration, of the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao government, and the government's "front lines" report on it is a valuable first-hand account for scholars studying the persecution of China's house churches.

Shanxi province has since the late 19th century been an area where the indigenization of Christianity has been experiencing a great revival, with the churches established by Xi Shengmo as the primary example. However, since the time of the Boxer Rebellion, Shanxi has also been one of the places where Christian persecution has been the harshest, and this terrible tradition is being carried on to this day.

Below is our translation of the government's online report (click the thumbnail to see the screenshot):

Index No.:  012220086/2012-00036
Title: Our District Successfully Abolishes a Christian Group
Valid to:                                                                Document No.
Published by: Yingze District People's Government of Taiyuan Municipality.
Tags: Comprehensive Political Affairs/Daily Work/Yingze District
Keyword: Christianity
Accessibility: via online links
Publicity Method: Publicize in a timely manner    Production date: March 14, 2012
Time to Remain Public: long-term.                      Bibliography date: March 14, 2012
Brief content: Our District Successfully Abolishes a Christian Group
On the afternoon of March 12, this bureau [editor's note: this appears to refer to the local religious affairs bureau] got a call from the district's Public Security Bureau Domestic Security Protection Squad regarding a tip that was called in that some 40 Christians had gathered in a home near Ronghua Pharmacy at Taoyuan Lane 4 for a religious activity. Bureau director Wu Zhihong rushed to the scene and worked with the Public Security Bureau in handling this matter. 

At the scene: 38 people who live nearby had gathered here to listen a self-professed church preacher Ren Lacheng teach about the Bible. This preacher was none other than the person responsible for an underground church that we have banned many times. Deputy Director Wu Zhihong severely criticized him for his actions in violation of the law. Niu Jianwei, head of the patrol squad from Miaoqian Police Station and Sun Chunyan, deputy director of the Community Squad lectured him at the scene. The 38 believers at the scene were instructed on the Party’s religious affairs policies and the national laws and regulations on religion, and they were criticized and educated in accordance with the relevant stipulations of the Regulations on Religious Affairs and Regulations on Religious Affairs of Shanxi Province.

After more than an hour of patient communication, criticism and education, most of the believers accepted the criticism and left the scene, leaving behind just a few key church members who continued receiving education until they accepted the criticism. One of these key members, Hao Chunhong, said she would work actively with the landlord to cancel the lease and would never engage in religious activities at this place again. She would also contact the church to apply for a legal site for a house church meeting. This banning operation received the great assistance and support of Huo Xiaoli of the District Public Security Bureau's Domestic Security Protection Squad; Sun Weihe, head of the No. 1 Patrol Squad of Miaoqian Police Station; Niu Jianwei, head of the No. 2 Squad; Sun Chunyan, deputy director of the Community Squad and more than 10 police officers and also Yang Airong, director of the Taoyi neighborhood, Lane 4, Taoyuan, Miaoqian office, and others.

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