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Guangdong: Rehabilitation center penalized for holding small church service; church persecuted

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

China Aid

(Zhaoqing, Guangdong—June 24, 2015) Authorities in China’s southern Guangdong province recently prohibited two churches from meeting and claimed that the churches’ activities were illegal.

The leader of Renai’s Home Rehabilitation Farm in Zhaoqing, who regularly hosts small church gatherings for patients in the rehab facility, received a written administrative penalty notice from the Guangning County Religious Affairs Bureau on June 9, 2015, warning that the church is not allowed to practice any religious activities and that its religious properties such as the Bible will be confiscated.

Authorities frequently threaten to
confiscate religious materials, such as
those pictured above, in order to
intimidate Christians.
(Photo: China Aid)
Christian Lin Haixin, Renai’s Home Rehabilitation Farm manager, and more than 10 young people were reading the Bible and singing hymns at the facility. Lin filed an administrative reconsideration application with the Guangning County Religious Affairs Bureau on June 12, 2015. In reply, Lin received the administrative penalty decision statement and a list of items to be confiscated. The local government emphasized that Renai’s Home Rehabilitation Farm is not approved by the local government as a location for religious activities.

“After I filed an administrative reconsideration, they gave me this administrative penalty decision statement. At first, they gave me an administrative penalty notice. Then I wrote an administrative reconsideration application. At first, they said that because I was not qualified as religious personnel, I could not hold religious activities. I said, I have never proclaimed to be religious personnel, nor have I used the identity of religious personnel to do anything in China. I said, as a person with experience, I was helping people who used to do drugs and who have psychological and mental issues to live a normal life,” Lin told a China Aid reporter on the day he received the penalty.

“This penalty noted that if the person who received the decision does not accept the decision, he or she can apply for administrative reconsideration at the Zhaoqing Municipal Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau within 60 days. He or she can also file an indictment at the court in Guangdong County,” Lin said.

Lin said that he has not decided what he will do. “I need to wait to see if they will take any other actions before I make a decision. We were only reading the Bible, praying and singing a couple of hymns. We were really not holding any religious activities.”

On June 9, 2015, Guangdong authorities forbid another local house church from holding church services. According to a Christian in Guangzhou, a church founded by a Korean in Huadu District, was forcibly dismissed by officers from the Huadu District Public Security Bureau and Religious Affairs Bureau during Sunday Worship on June 14. The officers accused the church of not being registered at the local religious affairs bureau, and thus an illegal gathering.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org