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01/26/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – An elder from a house church in China’s southeastern Guangzhou city is again denied of residence permit. Local authorities told him that he has been “blacklisted” and his application will not be processed.

Chen Chengwan, who attends Guangfu Church’s Baihua campus in Taihe township, moved to Guangzhou city from Guangxi more than 15 years ago. For refusing to join the state-sanctioned Three-Self church, he and his church have been repeatedly harassed.

According to China Aid, when Chen went to a local rental service center to apply for a “Guangdong Province Residence Permit,” the staff told him that the computer system could not accept his name. They claimed that it was not a problem of theirs, and it is possible that Chen is regarded as problematic by their leadership, but they did not know the details.

This was not the first time Chen faced challenge in getting his residence permit. Last April ICC also reported on his permit being denied. As recent as last month, he also was turned down by the service center staff, saying that he was already “black listed.” Infuriated, he called the local government to make a petition.

In addition, Chen often gets unwanted visits from the local authorities. They used different excuses such as fire safety inspection or doubling checking their IDs to frequently enter Chen’s home. The government also pressures his landlord, hoping that the landlord can convince Chen to withdraw his petition.

A local Christian Mr. Wang told China Aid that it is getting harder for house churches to survive these days. “Now we have limited space for our activities. Since we are in the midst of the pandemic, many brothers and sisters are doing Bible study online, yet the police are still anxious. They try their best to learn about the content of our gathering, what we are saying, where the offering comes from, or whether or not any foreigner participates or donates fund [to us]. If we meet at homes, we often receive warning or are raided,” he said.

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