Church in China Refuses to Comply With Government Orders to Stop Meetings, Remove Religious Signage

Christians in China are facing increased restrictions under President Xi Jinping's rule. (Reuters)
Christians in China are facing increased restrictions under President Xi Jinping’s rule. (Reuters)

A house church in China dared to defy government officials who tried to intimidate the members of the church into submission. In the end though, the officials appeared to have been the ones who got cowed by the Christians’ show of resolve and unity, prompting them to step back.

The incident in Zhecheng County in Henan province happened in July, according to China Aid, an organisation dedicated to bringing awareness to religious freedom violations and support persecuted Christians in China.

In a report, China Aid says the Zhecheng County Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau issued a notice to Proclaiming Christ Church ordering it to stop its religious activities and remove all religious signs by July 20. The bureau accused the church of holding service without government approval even as it cited provincial religious affairs regulations that the church must follow.

Officials of the bureau also called on the Christian congregation to join the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), China’s state-run church, instead.

As part of China’s religious affairs regulations, congregations that join the TSPM must accept government supervision and obtain approval from the religious departments before they can hold any activity. Moreover, the TSPM explicitly bans its members from raising their children in the Christian faith, labelling the practice “brainwashing.”

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SOURCE: Hazel Torres
Christian Today