|Members of Shouwang Church sing
hymns in the snow after being evicted
from their original church building.
(Photo: China Aid)
(Beijing—Feb. 24, 2017) Fractured into small groups by persecution, a house church in Beijing recently informed China Aid that authorities were restricting their pastor. Meanwhile, their church is being refurbished without their approval.
Six years after authorities banned Shouwang Church members from holding meetings outdoors, they revealed that their pastor, Jin Tianming, is still under house arrest and is only allowed two hours of personal time each day, and his wife is not allowed to leave the house on Sundays. Their home is closely guarded by three government agents at all times, and he is only allowed to receive visitors at 4 or 5 p.m.
While the church was still meeting outdoors, officers from the public security bureau offered to free Jin if they stopped gathering outside, but Jin encouraged church members not to take the deal on his behalf.
China Aid recently learned that the developer from whom Shouwang Church purchased their church’s building violated his contract by renovating it without their permission. Since they bought the property, its value has doubled, and the church members fear the developer might have other uses planned for it.
In 2006 and 2007, the church attempted to undergo the proper procedures to register with the government, but the government rejected them. Nevertheless, during the summer of 2009, the police started to harass the church members and demand that they join the Three-Self Church. Jin asserted that they would not join, since it is a liberal political movement that diminishes Christ’s divinity, the authority of Holy Scripture, and the concept of justification by faith.
Years ago, after they were first evicted from their church building, they met outdoors, and authorities routinely detained them or dispersed their meetings. Now, the pressure is so heavy that the church dares to only meet in small groups in individual houses, and they still fear that these meetings will be banned.
China Aid exposes the suffering inflicted on Shouwang Church to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.
ChinaAid Media Team
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]
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