Three-Self Church's Application to Stage Protest Against Illegal Demolition of Church Property is Rejected
Even though the “Three-Self” Churches in China are technically legal, they are not free from government persecution. The congregation of this particular church in North-East China has been trying for years to stop a developer from evicting them and destroying their church building. However the developer is working closely with the local government and church members have been harassed, threatened, and even beaten for standing up to the eviction.
11/26/2012 China (China Aid Association)- An official Three-Self church in northeastern China has been denied permission to stage a public protest against the planned illegal eviction and demolition of their church property by real estate developers working hand-in-glove with the local government.
Since 2010, the Chengjiao Street Three-Self Church in the city of Yushu, Jilin province, has been trying to reach an agreement with the developers who want to demolish their property. But because of the collusion between the property developers and the local government , the church has been unable to reach an acceptable agreement. Furthermore, the church and its members have been the target of threats and harassment. When church members tried to submit a formal complaint to the government in accordance with the law, they were blocked at every turn.
Among the most egregious incidents was the beating of two women believers by the developers on July 20. In the three months following the attack, church members tried repeatedly to submit their complaint to various relevant government departments. But the Yushu offices of various national-level government departments refused accept the complaints about the victims' medical bills and compensation, and also would not carry out their legal responsibility to investigate the criminal liability of the suspects and their illegal infringement of rights. Having no other recourse, church representatives in October applied for a permit to stage a protest march during which they would "bear six banners with slogans...make speeches along the way and shout slogans." Their application was rejected by the Yushu Public Security Bureau (see scan of the document; click to enlarge).
After Christian lawyers in Beijing were asked to intervene, a church member representing the majority of the congregation submitted an application for administrative review, seeking a decision on the legality of the Public Security Bureau's Oct. 30 "Notification of Rejection of Permit for Protest March."