Church raided amid escalating crackdown



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Plainclothes officials raid an unregistered
church in Guizhou. (Photo: ChinaAid)
ChinaAid

(Xuzhou, Jiangsu—Sept. 12, 2018) A church in China’s southeastern Jiangsu province was raided by the local religious management department and public security bureau on Friday.

The officials entered Dao’en Church on Sept. 7 and alleged it had not registered with the government before holding religious events, rendering their activities illegal. In China, regulations specify religious devotees may only hold services in state-approved venues, but such buildings are monitored by the Communist Party, which reviews all teachings before they are preached for statements arbitrarily deemed dangerous to its rule and imposes propaganda.

Dao’en Church’s leaders negotiated with the religious affairs bureau, but the authorities refused to relent and forbade Christians from gathering there.

Out of the church’s five branches, three of them have been forcibly closed, and government departments pressured the landlords not to renew their leases.

All across China, churches are facing pressures unprecedented since the reign of dictator Mao Zedong. In Henan, where a concentrated crackdown is occurring, seven ministers were arrested and then later released that evening.

“Authorities have tried every means not only to arrest us, but also blaspheme us online,” one of them said. “It is frustrating that some [Christian] brothers, sisters, and even pastors who do not know the truth assault us because we bravely proclaim the Gospel and fight against persecution.”

Another Henan Christian, Guo Chunmei, received an administrative punishment notice from the Shihe District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee on Sept. 5. She was accused of organizing unlawful religious events, after a government department claimed on Aug. 22 she violated the revised Regulations on Religious Affairs. The church she attends has been ordered to be closed, and all proceeds that officials deem were illegally-gained will be confiscated. If it is impossible to ascertain the amount, a 50,000 yuan fine [approximately $7,304.00 USD] will be imposed.

Additionally, local officials in Wenzhou, Zhejiang distributed a form collecting information on the religious beliefs of middle school students and their parents. This could have dangerous repercussions, as Chinese regulations forbid parents from teaching religion to their children.

ChinaAid exposes abuses suffered by Chinese Christians in order to stand against persecution and promote human rights, religious freedom, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team
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