ICC NOTE: The Chinese government has yet again reached out towards a house church in central China forcing members to join the government controlled three self church or face arrest. Despite what one may hear from Chinese officials and/or diplomats, the Christian population is a prime target of the Communist Party due to its increasing numbers among the people. The government’s fear is the spread of Christianity will reach a point it becomes revolutionary and attempts to overthrow the ruling regime. In their attempt to stop said potential future, authorities take local churches and force them to join the three self church or face arrest and closure. Despite their attacks against the church, Christianity continues to grow rapidly.
6/28/2016 Guizhou, China (China Aid) – Authorities in China’s central Guizhou province threatened to detain Christians from a house church if they failed to register with the government-run Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM).
Mou, the man in charge of Huaqiu Church, spoke with China Aid’s reporter on June 15 about the recent threats.
“Now, [authorities] want to purify us. They ordered us to go to the county religious affairs bureau to register. If we don’t go register, they will call on our believers, command us to confess at the local police station and detain us for five days. [They said] if we did not go, we would be detained for 15 days. … Today, personnel from the central public security comprehensive management commission and the civil affairs bureau came to my house and asked how many people meet here. I told them that there were only seven people meeting at my house. Now, we are gathering at Huaqiu Church.”
Additionally, authorities required that the church’s attendees submit their personal information after the church held a service last week, which officials termed an illegal gathering. They also dispersed a Sunday school meeting and questioned the teachers.
Historically, on July 1, 2014, the government issued a notice that demanded that Huaqiu Church’s newly-constructed building be shut down and destroyed on charges that it had been built without approval, ignoring the permits Mou had obtained in 2013. The move elicited strong opposition from local Christians, prompting the government to say that the structure could remain if the church members register with the TSPM. When they refused, authorities reiterated their plan to destroy the building.