(Jilin, China—September 22, 2022) On September 7, the Civil Affairs Bureau in Changchun, Jilin province, northeast China, banned Sunshine Reformed Church, a house church not registered with the government. According to the official announcement, the church was banned on the grounds that it was “unregistered” and therefore illegal.
A few weeks earlier, on August 21, the Sunshine Reformed Church was suddenly stormed by Changchun police during a church service. A mass of police officers stormed their venue of gathering, dispersed the Christians who were meeting, and took nine people, including Pastor Guo Muyun, Elders Qu Hongliang and Zhang Liangliang, Pastor Guo Muyun’s wife Li Guoxiang, Li Chunyang, Cao Yunqiang, Hao Zheqiang, Xu Huaibin, and Li Lei, into custody at the Weixinglu Police Station. Police violently cracked down on Sunshine Reformed, causing some female members to fall unconscious.
The church adheres to the reformed faith, which is universally recognized as orthodox and refuses to join the state-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Pastor Guo Muyun participated in signing “A Declaration for the Sake of the Christian Faith,” in 2018, which was initiated by Pastor Wang Yi from Early Rain Covenant Church. Guo Muyun has been repeatedly summoned by Chinese Communist Party security personnel.
Banning Sunshine Reformed Church further illustrates Xi Jinping’s nationwide crackdown on house churches that refuse to register with the government and suppression of faith groups. For a considerable period of time, local authorities generally integrate multiple departments in door-to-door harassment and bans. Recent cases also indicate an increase in bans by the Civil Affairs Bureau.
~Gao Zhensai Special Correspondent of ChinaAid