Government officials have been going on a rampage to close churches that won’t join the state-approved Three-Self Church.
Authorities shut down a more than 20-year-old house church located in Yaopu town of the prefecture-level city of Tieling, in the northeastern province of Liaoning, after it refused to join the state-sanctioned Protestant Three-Self Church. A source speaking on condition of anonymity, told Bitter Winter that the closure comes after officials for the United Front Work Department of Diaobingshan city, which is under Tieling’s administration, convened a meeting of more than 30 employees of neighborhood committees to begin an intense crackdown on home gatherings of all religious persuasions – from Christians to Buddhists to Muslims.
It was decided at the meeting that religious believers are only allowed to attend gatherings at religious venues that have a government-issued religious activity permit; other gathering places will be shut down. The official claimed that Tieling city has already become a focus of the crackdown on religious house gatherings.
Bitter Winter has learned that on October 19, a group of four local government officials arrived at the church in Yaopu town. They took photos of the meeting venue and forced the church’s leader to sign her name on a document stating that she promised to no longer hold any house gatherings. Afterward, they issued a notification to shut down that church, dissolving it on the basis that it lacked the necessary government permits.
In other parts of Liaoning, the operation to eliminate house church gathering venues is also going on.
In late October, police officers from the Liaoyang City Public Security Bureau stormed into the home of local Christian in her 70s, Ms. Han (a pseudonym), and searched her home, which was also a meeting place of Christians. The police tore the cross off her wall, deleted the religious materials from her computer and confiscated Bibles, hymnbooks, a TV, a donation box, and other items. Then, of course, the meeting venue was shut down. After her gathering place was closed down, more than a dozen other elderly believers no longer no had a place to meet.
The plight of house churches in Heilongjiang Province is also extremely dire. In the past three months, roughly authorities have forcibly shut down 15 house church meeting venues in the province, though the accurate number is hard to come by. Read the full article here.
Reported by Piao Junying
Source: Bitter Winter
Commentary by Unreal Post
The police tore the cross off her wall, deleted the religious materials from her computer and confiscated Bibles, hymnbooks, a TV, a donation box, and other items. Then, of course, the meeting venue was shut down. After her gathering place was closed down, more than a dozen other elderly believers no longer no had a place to meet.
– Reported by 70 Year Old Christian Woman Eye Witness
This is just horrifying and is NOT slowing down. By all accounts and reports from various sources 2019, will be the worse yet for Christians in China.
This is serious stuff and as a believer myself it’s hard to imagine the Mesa police department coming into my home to take my Bibles, whiteboard, Bible tracks, Bible Timeline and anything pertaining to teaching the Bible. Then to have me sign a document stating that I will not conduct Bible studies from my home or any other venue unless I get a permit?
That’s exactly what’s happening to thousands of our brothers and sisters in Christ in China. We need to pray for them. Pray that God strengthens their faith and comfort them through this persecution.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
God will answer no matter what the answer is, as the Lord makes it clear in the next verse. “peace of God”, “will guard your hearts”
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We must keep our brothers and sisters in Christ in our prayers daily. And all who are being persecuted around the world.
Christian Persecution is Real
Christian Persecution is real and is a daily event for many in the Body of Christ. To our brothers and sisters in China and around the world we have you in our thoughts and prayers. We are encouraged by your steadfast faith in Christ and with you wait for the glorious day of our Lord’s return.
Like the Thessalonians, the Chinese House Churches face relentless persecution but they maintain their faith.
And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.’
I Thessalonians 1:2-10
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