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-Chinese Authorities Block House Church Easter Services

by Dr. D ~ April 25th, 2011

Category:Fictional American people of Chinese ...

                                                    (Image via Wikipedia)

The crackdown continues on a major house church in Beijing and dozens were arrested as the 1,000-member Shouwang Church attempted to hold Easter meetings outdoors.

Chinese government officials evicted Shouwang from its previous place of worship in November and blocked the congregation recently from entering new facilities purchased with church funds.

The Shouwang Church is an ‘unregistered’ group according to the Chinese government though church officials have repeatedly tried to receive government approval.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently appealed to the Chinese government to allow Christians to worship during Easter week without being harassed or jailed. USCIRF chair Leonard Leo denounced China’s "intolerance" and noted that the church had tried to follow the government rules:

"The Shouwang Church tried to play by rules that the Chinese government keeps changing. Beijing’s action further alienates the fast growing number of religious believers in China, particularly during Easter, the most sacred week in Christianity."

Response: While China supposedly allows freedom of religion all religious groups are required to register with the government. However, many Christian churches have found that the Communist government refuses to officially recognize or sanction their particular group and for many reasons (including theological issues) the church may not want to be part of one of the major groups already sanctioned (and somewhat controlled) by the government.

Most of the time the Chinese officials have turned a blind eye and have allowed churches all over China to continue to gather unofficially but they always remain subject to the whims of the officials. Crackdowns and arrests can happen anytime but pastors continue their ministry anyway and their followers continue to met regardless.

We should always remember our brothers and sisters in China in our daily prayers. Many are persecuted and suffer years in jail and go through repeated torture for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.            *Top

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