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ICC Note: As a part of a country-wide effort to control and suppress the growth of unregistered and therefore illegal house churches, local officials in one Chinese province are launching a large investigation into “privately established religious meeting sites.” This would obviously include Christian house churches in the province, 100 of which have already received registration paperwork. How many churches may be shut down or Christians arrested as a result of this investigation remains to be seen.  
4/1/2013 China (ChinaAid) – ChinaAid recently obtained an internal government document issued just before the annual national legislative session that called for a city-wide multi-agency initiative to “thoroughly investigate … privately established religious meeting sites” in Jiaozhou, coastal Shandong province.
The March 1 document was jointly issued by the Jiaozhou Communist Party United Front Work Department and the Jiaozhou Municipal Bureau for Ethnic and Religious Affairs in advance of the opening of the National People’s Congress on March 5, at which a historic leadership transition that began last fall was finalized. Tightened security measures and heightened vigilance and social tensions that normally accompany the annual legislative session were even more severe this year because of the leadership transition and the political scandals that had preceded it.
The internal document with two registration forms required all party committees and the township level and all neighborhood party work committees to conscientiously carry out a thorough investigation of ” privately established religious meeting sites” throughout the city and to report their findings before March 25.The document called for in-depth thorough investigations of every village in every town and every person in every household and required the production of reports that included suggestions for “preliminary steps” for handling the sites and “next-step recommendations and counter-measures.”
ChinaAid’s social media reporter learned through interviews that nearly 100 Christian house church meeting sites in the area had received the government’s registration forms. One house church elder said, the term “privately set up” really means that we are “illegal,” and the officials from the religious affairs bureau want to know whether we have any anti-Three-Self or anti-government tendencies and want to try to incorporate us under their leadership.”
In 2011, the Chinese government formulated a 10-year plan to eradicate house churches, and this document is without doubt a part of the implementation process of this government decree. The Jiaozhou document has now been transmitted to all the grassroots levels and concentrated thorough investigations were carried out during the national legislative session and the information collected in the registration forms have been submitted to higher government levels.

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