ICC Note: The Chinese government continues to tighten controls and increase their persecution of Christians in Zhejiang province by increasing surveillance of all sorts of religious activities.
By Rachel Ritchie
09/02/2015 China (China Aid)
Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province once again stepped up persecution against churches on Sunday, including new registration requirements and various surveillance methods being employed throughout the heavily persecuted city of Wenzhou.
As of yesterday, Wenzhou churches are being forced to register their meeting places with the Wenzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau in addition to Wenzhou’s religious affairs bureau. In the past, the government tolerated the local Christian community so long as they didn’t cause trouble or draw attention to themselves.
Churches in Wenzhou are reporting that local authorities have positioned themselves both inside and outside of church buildings in an effort to monitor Christians’ religious activities based on a mandate from the Wenzhou Municipal Government on Sunday.
Christians reported that officials are even monitoring churches where police are not present. “At Fengwo Church, when pastors entered the church to preach, they found officials inside the church,” a local Christian said. “Churches are warning each other that officials from local governments are listening inside the buildings through surveillance cameras.”
“We are not used to their behaviors—putting their feet on the chairs in front of them, playing on their cell phones all the time,” said one Christian whose church service was occupied on Sunday. “When we were praying and singing, they stood in the doorway.”