ICC Note: The enforcement of Chinese government policies concerning religious affairs seem to be at the whim of local authorities. Many Chinese Christians try to abide by these policies, and some even try to officially register their activities, only to be told to shut down by local authorities — sometimes for whatever reason they can come up with.
By Rachel Ritchie
06/24/2015 China (China Aid)
Authorities in China’s southern Guangdong province recently prohibited two churches from meeting and claimed that the churches’ activities were illegal.
The leader of Renai’s Home Rehabilitation Farm in Zhaoqing, who regularly hosts small church gatherings for patients in the rehab facility, received a written administrative penalty notice from the Guangning County Religious Affairs Bureau on June 9, 2015, warning that the church is not allowed to practice any religious activities and that its religious properties such as the Bible will be confiscated.
Christian Lin Haixin, Renai’s Home Rehabilitation Farm manager, and more than 10 young people were reading the Bible and singing hymns at the facility. Lin filed an administrative reconsideration application with the Guangning County Religious Affairs Bureau on June 12, 2015. In reply, Lin received the administrative penalty decision statement and a list of items to be confiscated. The local government emphasized that Renai’s Home Rehabilitation Farm is not approved by the local government as a location for religious activities.
On June 9, 2015, Guangdong authorities forbid another local house church from holding church services. According to a Christian in Guangzhou, a church founded by a Korean in Huadu District, was forcibly dismissed by officers from the Huadu District Public Security Bureau and Religious Affairs Bureau during Sunday Worship on June 14. The officers accused the church of not being registered at the local religious affairs bureau, and thus an illegal gathering.