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ICC Note: Laws in China protecting civil or religious liberties will rarely compel enforcement or make any impact beyond taking up space in a statutory library. However, laws restricting these liberties are thoroughly enforced to the point of  absurd pettiness and indiscreet bias against religious groups. Guangfu Church is another unfortunate victim of the CCP’s notorious persecution, which has been notably virulent towards Christians over the past couple of years. China’s labyrinth of  seemingly insatiable “building codes” have given Christian churches across the country significant grief, whether it be the removal of church crosses, forced eviction of church members, or  full-scale demolition of church buildings. 

7-19-2016 Guangzhou, China (ChinaAid) – Officials in China’s southern Guangdong province shut down and sealed one branch of a house church on June 23, threatening to take action if the church continued meeting.

This incident marks the fourth incursion against the Taihe County branch of Guangfu Church, also known as Taihe Hall, this year. Government officials from the local Public Security Comprehensive Management Commission placed a seal over the doors to Taihe Hall and cut off power and water to the building.

The official reason for the closure was that the landlord of the building did not have the proper certificates. In previous official actions against the church, members reported that officials frequently pressured the landlord to terminate their ten-year contract prematurely and evict the church. The head of Guangfu Church, a man named Mark, took the contract out two years ago, and has spent approximately 500,000 Yuan (U.S. $75,000) refurbishing the location.

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