ICC Note: The constant harassment of churches by local authorities in China is meant to discourage, demoralize and eventually disband groups of Christians who seek to meet together in worship. Fortunately, this campaign is not working! Let us remember those who face this type of discrimination and who seek only their right to freely exercise their religious beliefs.
By Qiao Nong
06/10/2015 China (China Aid)
Government harassment of Guangfu House Church in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is continuing into a second month, with local officials attempting to stop a church meeting on June 4, the 26th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement in Beijing.
Sixteen officials from the city’s Baiyun District Religious Affairs Bureau and Domestic Security Protection Squad and the local sub-district neighborhood committee management office showed up at 11 a.m. at the storefront where the church was meeting and told them to stop, church leader Ma Chao told China Aid’s special correspondent in Hong Kong, Qiao Nong.
“We counted — there were 16 of them. They came in two vehicles,” Ma said, adding that the vehicles had signs showing that they were from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
“Because we were meeting in a storefront, they even knocked on our door. I called my lawyer,” Ma said. “I asked them who they were, what they were doing here, whether they had any paperwork.
“A woman officer from the local police station said they were there to visit me. I said I don’t have time now. We didn’t open the door for them, and about 20 minutes later, after videotaping, they left,” Ma said.
Also on June 4, the Baiyun District Court notified Ma that the church’s suit against the religious affairs bureau, filed on May 26, was being dismissed. Ma said that they were not dropping the lawsuit and would continue to pursue the matter.