ICC NOTE: Rather than demolish churches and take down crosses, the Chinese government has taken the next step in using blackmail to limit child attendance amongst churches. One church in particular was given an ultimatum that if children do not stop attending, they will be barred from entering college. In a similar incident, a grandfather was forced to agree to a document informing local authorities he would stop attending his church in order that his grandson’s acceptance into the military would be completed. It seems the demolition of churches and crosses have only scratched the surface of religious persecution in China.
7/15/2016 Guizhou, China (China Aid) – On June 23, a local government office in China’s central Guizhou province delivered an ultimatum to parents who attend a house church: if children do not stop attending church, they will be barred from attending college or entering the military. Additionally, violators of the new regulation will be sued.
“This notice was sent to all of the schools in Huaqiu,” Mou, the person in charge of Huaqiu Church, said. “They (public security) intend to cleanse us and ask us to join the Three-Self Church.”
After issuing the notice, government personnel coerced members of Huaqiu Church to sign a document saying that they would no longer take minors to church. Any children who attend the church will be ineligible for the college entrance exam or admittance into a military academy, and parents who bring their children to church will be sued.
Because of this ruling, an elderly church member was forced to endorse a document forbidding him from attending church services so that his grandson’s acceptance into a military academy would not be withdrawn.
According to Chinese legislation, children under the age of 18 may not receive any religious education. The government sanctioned Protestant church, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, specifically forbids its members from “brainwashing” teenagers with religious beliefs and bringing children to religious activities.