Heilongjiang Authorities Shutdown House Church Gathering
ICC Note: Although the officials of the District Public Security Bureau claim to have only enforced the regulations and to have followed the ‘normal procedures’, it is difficult to see how these regulations and procedures are compatible with the central Chinese government’s claim that China’s citizens have freedom of religion.
By Rachel Ritchie
05/21/2015 China (China Aid)
Authorities in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province raided a house church gathering in late April and demanded that the church members attend a government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) church.
“When we were gathering on April 29, people from the domestic security protection squad (DSPS), the local police station and the religious affairs bureau entered our building and demanded that we stop the worship service,” said a female leader, Yu, from the Home of Bodani church in the city of Yichun. “When they entered the room, one church member was delivering a sermon. I told them that we were worshipping and that they could tell us whatever they wanted after our gathering was over. A man said no and that he wanted to talk to the person in charge.
“Our leader is an elderly man named Dong Shiyun. He couldn’t do anything but follow the officers out of the building in order to not disturb the gathering,” Yu said. “I followed, too, and heard them say that our gathering is illegal because we don’t have a ‘site registration permit.’”