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ICC Note

There has been a recent crackdown against house churches in China . The below is a statement regarding the most recent house church raid that occurred in Beijing .

A Statement by the Chinese House Church Alliance Regarding the Recent Crackdown on Urban Churches

By Bob Fu

China Aid Association (01/18/06)

It was known that Beijing police illegally interfered with the regular gathering activities of Beijing Church of Ark on January 8 and January 15. We, a group of preachers of the Chinese Christian House Church , share the one Lord, one baptism, one faith, and one God with the brothers and sisters of Beijing Church of Ark, living together by the Holy Spirit and communicating with each other as disciples. We are shocked by, and worried about this event, and the recently occurred persecutions suffered by churches in Beijing and throughout the country. Hereby we express our intense concerns and issue the following opinions based on the belief in Jesus Christ and through prayers in the face of Him:

I. As Chinese Christians, we only trust Jesus Christ, the one and only true God, and the Bible is the authority of our faith. We worship only God, not man.

II. As stated in Chapter 13 of Romans of the Bible:“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. …For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”Thereforewe submit ourselves to the authorities of the Chinese government and pray that they can govern the country according to the love and justice of God.

III. As far as we know, Beijing Church of Ark has conducted regular gatherings all along during the past two years or more since its founding. Its members abide by the Constitution and laws of China , and live in harmony and amity with neighbors. The activities of Church of Ark conform to Bible teachings and are legal gatherings.

IV. Chinese Christians, being the children of God and citizens of China , are endowed with the fundamental civil rights bestowed by God and safeguarded by the Constitution of China. One of the rights is the freedom of religious belief prescribed by Article 36 of the Constitution of China. This freedom shall not be restricted by the lower level laws and regulations of the State Council such as “Regulations Concerning Religious Affairs”, and other administrative rules and regulations. Hence registration or not shall not be cited as the excuse or foundation for curbing citizens’ religious freedom (including worshiping, gathering, praying and Bible studies, etc.).

V. We hold that the Beijing police’s raid of Church of Ark ’s regular Sunday worship activities constituted unlawful behavior violating citizens’ religious freedom. We urge the Beijing police to correct this mistake and earnestly carry out administration according to law.

We appeal to brothers and sisters of Chinese and universal churches to continually pray for China . We entreat God to absolve our sins and bestow the persecuted Christians with faith, wisdom and strength so we can become reinforced by our Lord. We beseech that God could renew the wills of those governing China so that China could become a society full of blessings, love and justice.