11/12/2018 China (International Christian Concern) – A church in China’s southern Hunan province remains victim to unrelenting harassment from Chinese authorities. The local church experiences frequent visits from authorities that interrupt services, forcibly interrogate congregants, and vandalize church property.
The church pastor, Zhang Ganghua, recently signed a joint letter that called on authorities to stop persecuting churches, emphasizing their right to religious freedom. The joint letter has been of particular focus for the police that raid the church. Officials initially vandalized church property and later asked to meet with the church pastor.
When a meeting with the pastor was arranged, officials interrogated the pastor on his beliefs and his part in signing the joint letter. The authorities asked if the pastor still condoned the contents of the letter, stating that now was the opportunity to disown it. To this pastor Zhang replied, “I will not change my position” reports China Aid News.
In response, officials warned that if the pastors church does not join the Three Self Patriotic Movement, one of the official Christian organizations overseen and censored by the Chinese government, it will be considered illegal and banned.
Although the church continues to experience harassment, the church plans to exercise their right to public worship stating it is “authorized by God in the Bible and granted by the [Chinese] Constitution to its citizens”.
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