(Korla, Xinjiang—March 13, 2017) Authorities in China’s northwestern Xinjiang recently deferred the housing registration application of two Christians, one of whom was recently detained for attending a house church.
Si Guangxiu and her son, Cai Chuangye, recently moved from Henan province to Xinjiang. According to Chinese law, all residents must register with the police when they relocate to a new city. As such, Cai filed a registration application, but it was repeatedly deferred. He said, “[The authorities] took away all of my legal materials and told me to wait.” A few days ago, officials agreed to process the application and asked Cai to take pictures of their new residence.
A person in their neighborhood told Si the reason for the delay was that she was a Christian.
On March 4, officials arrested her for attending a house church.
These actions come amid escalating religious tension in Xinjiang. Recently, Xinjiang’s ethnic and religious affairs bureau released the “26 Clauses,” to limit unofficial religious activities using methods to eliminate Christians’ retirement pensions, basic insurance, and ability to take out loans. In some areas, Christians were forced to sign guarantees that they would not attend house churches, and, after encountering some women who were illiterate and could not sign, government personnel threatened to cut off their power and water supply.
ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by church members in Xinjiang, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.