Guangdong house church sealed after refusing to join Three-Self Patriotic Movement

Friday, August 28, 2015

The seal covering the church door.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
By Ava Collins

(Shantou, Guangdong—Aug. 27, 2015) Authorities sealed a house church in China’s southern Guangdong province after church leaders repeatedly refused to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM).

The Chenghai District Religious Affairs Bureau in Shantou declared that the church was holding “illegal gatherings” and sealed the church door on Aug. 18. The church leader, surnamed Guo, was out of town at the time of closure and was unable to negotiate with authorities until her return.

Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, said Chenghai District police asked Guo’s husband to sign documents to join the TSPM and threatened that “something bad” would happen if he refused. He told the officers that he could not take the documents, but his wife could answer them when she returned.

“The Religious Affairs Bureau wants us to join the Three-Self, but I will not agree,” Guo said. “We have endured for many years already. We will never compromise to them.”

The church has been meeting for four years, with membership in the hundreds and a weekly attendance of more than one hundred. Guo told China Aid’s reporter that the church’s possessions have not been confiscated at this time, but believes the police may be waiting for her to return before proceeding.

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