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10/20/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – The space for house churches in China is shrinking at an unprecedented rate, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seeks to control Christianity through state-sanctioned Three-Self churches.

A hotel in China’s Xiamen, a coastal city in Fujian Province, was recently fined 20,000 RMB (nearly U.S. $3,000) for hosting Christian activities in the summer. The 8,300 RMB (U.S. $1,242) rental income was also confiscated by the local authorities.

According to a notice shared by Father Francis Liu from Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, addressed to all the hotels in Siming District, the Sea View Garden Hotel was punished by the Siming District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau for “violating Regulations on Religious Affairs.” The hotel “provided venue multiple times from June 28 to August 29 to ‘illegal religious activities’ (Christian gathering).”

While the document did not specify the name of the church renting the hotel, it is safe to assume that it was a house church needing a place to safely gather, since the Chinese government has been raiding many house churches across China and disrupting online services.

The goal of the document, dated October 16 and endorsed by the Siming District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau and Cultural and Tourism Bureau was to warn all the hotels in the district to not make the same “mistake” as the Sea View Garden Hotel.

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