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-China: Authorities Crack down on Christian ‘Mega’ Churches

by Dr. D ~ December 11th, 2009

Chinese Church

For the past three months, the Chinese authorities have cracked down on several large Christian churches around the country. In Linfin China, over 400 police and a number of hired thugs attacked the Golden Lamp Church which served over 50,000 members and was probably China’s first ‘mega-church’.

In mid-September, the authorities descended upon the church smashing doors and windows, hauling off computers, Bibles, and confiscating church funds.The Christian worshippers who resisted were beaten and dozens were hospitalized with serious injuries. The pastors were arrested and received prison sentences. An armored personnel vehicle still sits outside the church to keep the building from being used.

There are at least two other large churches that we know of which have faced similar crackdowns in the last several months.

In Beijing in October, authorities locked parishioners of the Shouwang House Church and in Shanghai, the Wangbang Congregation faced a similar lockout. Both were churches that had more than 1,000 members. Fortunately so far the leaders of those two churches were not arrested.

Although China is supposed to guarantee ‘freedom of religion’, the government wants to maintain control over the churches and only a few ‘official’ churches are actually permitted. Over 20 million Chinese crowd into the official churches while more than 60 million are said to belong to underground ‘house’ churches which are not sanctioned or controlled by the government.

The three churches closed were part of the unsanctioned ‘house’ church movement which in these instances grew way beyond meeting in residences. For many years the authorities have turned a ‘blind eye’ toward some of these growing institutions. Now it seems that the government is sending a signal that they want to curtail the growth of the house church movement, particularly large congregations that have become far too obvious.            *Top

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1 Response to -China: Authorities Crack down on Christian ‘Mega’ Churches

  1. Curly

    What the chinese government is doing is facist. They think that they have the right to crack down on religious activities.

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