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ICC NOTE: While harassment of Christians and churches are normal for the Chinese population, the fact one specific church has been targeted 7 times in nearly two months is unthinkable. As per usual, the charges placed upon those with the Zhongfu Church have been of illegal gatherings and taking of illegal income (tithe). Currently China has been in a peak of the roller coaster ride that is the relationship between Christianity and the communist government. Unfortunately, since the governments crackdown on crosses began in 2013 it would appear the peak is one of the worst in many years. 

6/24/2016 China (China Aid) – Authorities from several different government departments have raided a house church in China’s southern Guangdong province seven times since May 1.

Zhongfu Wanmin Church, located in Dongguan, has been the focus of a concerted persecution effort by authorities over the past two months. Over the course of seven separate raids, the church has had their donations stolen, members accused of illegal activities and have been pressured to register with China’s government-sanctioned Protestant church, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM).

On May 29, the local religious affairs and public security bureaus dispatched officers to Zhongfu Wanmin Church, interrupting 30 Christians who were gathered there to pray. They pulled the pastor’s wife, Huang Xiaorui, from the pulpit, accused the church members of illegally gathering and pressured them to join the TSPM. Additionally, officers pried open the church’s donation boxes, confiscated 2,888 Yuan (U.S. $439), ordered church members not to take any pictures or video footage of the event and intimidated some of the women until they cried.

In a subsequent administrative penalty notice, issued later that day, the authorities classified the donation money as “illegal income,” since it was used for unregistered religious activities. The notice allowed the church three days to file a complaint against the government’s actions, but they didn’t receive it until the day of the deadline, June 1.

Officials raided another of the church’s buildings on June 3. Huang said that the church usually meets in the building on Friday nights but had decided to meet in the home of a Christian on the night of the raid. As a result, the building was locked, and no one was there.

Two days later, a group of officials arrived at the church again and photographed the building and Christians at the service. These officers refused to show identification.

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