CCP fines hotel for allowing Christians to hold religious activities

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Xiamen Sea View Garden Hotel.
(Photo: China Aid)

(Xiamen, Fujian Province—Oct. 25, 2020) On October 16, the Bureau of Culture and Tourism of Siming District, Xiamen and Municipal Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs of Xiamen jointly issued a notice, charging that Xiamen Sea View Garden Hotel Co., Ltd. violated the Regulations on Religious Affairs. The hotel provided a gathering place for Christians several times from June 28 to August 9. Following Article 40 and Article 71 of the official regulations, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities issued a warning to the hotel and ordered them to pay a fine of 20,000 yuan (USD 2,979). 
Additionally, officials confiscated the money Christians spent in the hotel, totaling 8,300 yuan (USD 1,241). Authorities warned other hotels in this district not to accept Christians or believers of other religions for religious activities.

Since the implementation of the revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, as the 100-year-old Xunsiding Church adheres to the position the underground church held, refusing to observe the religious regulations, members experienced persecution. Xunsiding Church also refused to join the Three-self Church or register at the local Municipal Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs. Other underground churches in Xiamen supporting the same position experienced persecution as well. 

In May 2019, CCP authorities banned Xunsiding Church and fined it of 25,000 yuan (USD 3,738). Also, public security officers formed a barricade around the church for 30 days. Since then, police kept the No.5 gate of Xunsiding under strict surveillance 24 hours each day, prohibiting Christians and visitors to enter. 

On Aug. 12, accompanied by the neighborhood committee and the local police, several officials from the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs of Siming District, Xiamen raided the home of a believer attending Xunsiding Church. At that time, a group of young mothers with their children were sharing parenting experiences. When officers stopped the meeting, using the excuse of “illegal religious activities,” they confiscated believers’ cell phones and transported some believers from the church. 

On August 21, 40 young Christians from Xunsiding Church gathered at the beach to share their spiritual experiences and sing hymns together. Afterward, they participated in various parent-child activities. Officials from the local bureau of religious affairs with local police quickly arrived and forced the Christians to halt their activities. The leader of the local bureau of religious affairs personally took pictures of each Christian present. Although confused, these brothers and sisters logically argued for their rights to hold the activities and refused to leave until they completed them. 

Officials forbid Christians to gather at church, at home, or outdoors. When Believers try to secretly gather secretly in a local hotel, CCP authorities fine the hotel. The Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission of Fujian Province has declared that all gathering places of underground churches should be removed within two years. Since the second half of 2019, officials have successively banned numerous underground churches in Fujian Province. 

In the past, Xiamen accommodated more Christians in a one-meter square than any other place in the world. Now, this city has become known as a center of persecution of Christians. In words and actions, CCP authorities harass Christians meeting in homes, churches, and on the beach. Just as they warned the Xiamen Sea View Garden Hotel, authorities order other hotels in the area—do not allow Christians or believers of other religions to meet there for religious activities. 

Penalty Notice for Xiamen Sea View Garden Hotel.
(Photo: China Aid)

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