|Chinese officials often harass house
churches, such as this one in Guizhou.
(Photo: China Aid)
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song.
(Dongguan, Guangdong—Dec. 29, 2016) A church’s landlord has been recently pressuring the congregation to relocate after the church faced official harassment in China’s southern Guangdong province.
On Dec. 16, a house church leader in Dongguan said he received repeated calls from the church’s landlord, who has been persecuted by the government, asking the church to relocate. The church leader, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, claims local authorities ordered the move. He promised to publicize the story and travel to Beijing to petition if he continues to receive calls.
The church is hoping to keep renting the building through the Spring Festival, and the landlord has said he will help them achieve this at least.
In May 2016, the local public security bureau, fire department, industrial and commercial sectors of government, and state-run cultural departments claimed this church was not following safety regulations and asked the landlords to terminate their six-year contract. Currently, the church is still looking for a building and hopes to stay in their old one until the Spring Festival.
The government also approached church leaders and asked them to join the Three-Self Church, China’s government-operated Protestant church, but they refused. Additionally, officials investigated the church’s funding sources and ran background checks on its members.
China Aid reports abuses, such as those experienced by house churches in Guangdong, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom.