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12/24/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – China’s Zhejiang province was hit with a surge of COVID cases in early December. Shaoxing, Ningbo, and Hangzhou all saw increased number of cases. In response, Wenzhou city’s Pingyang county issued two regulations on December 9 and 12 to demand religious venues’ closure and halting of religious gatherings.

While Wenzhou has not spotted domestic case in the latest wave, churches are still banned from gathering.

According to Radio Free Asia, a group of Christians sent a joint letter to local authorities on December 14 to appeal for such decision. In the letter, it reads “Public space such as shopping malls, farmer’s markets, tourist attraction, libraries, and museums remain open, while religious venues are asked to be closed. We hope that upper leadership can satisfy the desire of many Christians to gather as long as the pandemic is under control.”

California-based Pastor Zhang Chongzhu, who used to live in Wenzhou, told RFA that local Christians are suspecting the motive behind the government’s ban. They think that the government is targeting Christians. He also added that according to his friends, churches have all been closed now, while restaurants remain open.

Wenzhou, often referred to as the most entrepreneurial and capitalist of the country’s large cities, is home to the largest population of Christians. It has also become known as “China’s Jerusalem.”

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