Church evicted, Christians barred from renewing residential permits

Monday, May 15, 2017

The notice Ma received when attempting to renew his
residential permit online, which reads, "The person at the
address Fupu Street, Panyu District has already applied for
a residence permit on May 23, 2014. The reason for the
application is: 'other.' The current status of the application is:
'declined.' Unable to renew the residential permit or change
the address!" (Photo: ChinaAid)

(Guangzhou, Guangdong—May 15, 2017) Authorities in China’s southern Guangdong province continue to track the movements of a serially persecuted house church, pressuring their landlord until he evicted them on May 4 and leaving them without a place to worship.

For years, officials have been harassing Guangfu Church for not joining the state-sanctioned Three-Self Church by coercing its successive landlords to terminate their contracts. On May 4, the pastor of the church, Ma Ke, received a notice declaring that the contract had been terminated and ordering him to move out. The landlord said the police visited him several times when Ma called to inquire about the sudden eviction.

In a similar instance in June 2016, the church’s landlord succumbed to government harassment and ended his contract with the church. Ma was also forced from his personal residence in September 2015, and the landlord said that he would rather pay the liquidated fees rather than face continued police pressure.

Additionally, when Ma tried to renew his Guangzhou residential permit online, he was denied and later learned that the authorities published a wanted notice for him. Other members of the church were also barred from renewing their permits, without which they cannot get driver’s licenses or purchase new cars. When ChinaAid spoke to him, Ma stated his intention to sue the police if they refused to revoke the sanction on his permit by May 10, but it is unknown whether or not he followed through with his plan.

ChinaAid reports abuses such as those experienced by Guangfu Church in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team
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