|Christians hold a church service
outside Guangfu Church after officials
sealed its doors last year.
(Photo: China Aid)
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.
(Guangzhou, Guangdong—July 5, 2016) A house church was forced to move last month after officials in China’s southern Guangdong province closed the building and pressured the landlady to terminate the church’s contract.
Paul, an elder from Guangfu Church, said in an interview on June 16 that police came to the church, saying they needed to check its temporary residential permit. However, they took pictures and inspected the fire hydrant. After deeming it below safety standards, they closed the church on pretenses that it hadn’t registered with the government and its firefighting system was inadequate.
In a meeting with Ma “Mark” Chao, the person in charge of the church, the authorities told him that he could not participate in any more church services due to previous quarrels with government officials.
Additionally, Ma received a phone call from the church’s landlady, who informed him that she wished to terminate their contract eight years before its expiration because officials had pressured her. As a result, the church was forced to move out of its building.
China Aid reports abuses, such as those suffered by the members of Guangfu Church, in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.