09/27/2018 China (International Christian Concern) – The Zion Church in Beijing, has been one of the largest unregistered protest churches in China. The church was established in 2007 and has around 1,500 in attendance with eight campuses spread throughout Beijing. However, in August of 2018 the Longbaochen Commercial Building property managers decided to breach the 1—year-lease signed by both parties five years prior. Although, the property owners have a good relationship with the church, the government has been pressuring the company and is forced them to stop renting to the church. Over the course of last year, the church lost 6 of the 8 campus churches due forced closure by the government.
The same Beijing authorities who shut down the church, are now requiring the church to pay 1.2 million yaun (around $170,000 USD) back in rent and removal cost. The authorities presented a list of expenses to the church, including 800,000 yuan in rent money alone. Other cost on the list of expenses included fines for overstaying, vehicles, parking fees, monthly storage, video recording, and overtime pay.
The pastor the church Jin Mingri, stated that it would be impossible for the church to cover these cost. He claimed that they simply do not have the money. Authorities are claiming that this is all legal because the church was unregistered and all activities done were unauthorized.
When the pastor was asked if he was afraid he stated that “I am not afraid. Compared to what Christians from older generations went through, today’s persecution is nothing to me.”
For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: email@example.com.