Hefty Fine Imposed on Christian Who Held Online Bible Study
08/16/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – On August 11, a Christian man in China’s Yunnan province received a notice of administrative punishment from the local Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau (ERAB), accusing him of hosting illegal religious education training online.
According to Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, brother Zhang Wenli also received a hefty fine of 20,000 RMB (approximately 2,870 USD), issued by the Lincang City Linxiang District ERAB, for his unauthorized activities.
The notice quoted the 2018 Regulations on Religious Affairs, Article 41, stating that “Non-religious groups, non-religious schools, non-religious activity sites, and temporary activity sites not appropriately designated as religious ones cannot conduct religious activities, accepting religious donations, carrying out religious training, […]”.
He was asked to stop his activities. If he has any objection, he should submit written appeal to the ERAB within three days after the receipt of the notice.
Father Francis Liu told ICC, brother Zhang was merely holding a Bible study online but was targeted by the authorities regardless.
This shows that it will be increasingly risky for any Christian in China to hold Bible study or conduct church activities online. From Wuhan, Sichuan, to Yunnan, the local authorities have been keeping their eyes on Christians, especially those from house churches. Many of their online activities were bugged and interrupted. The objective of their action is to coerce the house church members to join state-sanctioned churches.
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