10/27/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – The Chinese government continues to target house church leaders who have not yet pledged their loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and joined the state-vetted Three-Self Church. Intimidation, harassment, and arrests are now increasingly common among house church leaders.
According to China Aid, during the National Day celebration at the beginning of October, Preacher Li Zhenhua from the influential Beijing-based Zion Church’s Shanghai campus was taken away during service. He was detained for 15 days for “illegal religious gathering.”
Established in 2007, Zion Church was once the largest house church in Beijing, drawing 1,500 congregants every Sunday. The church was shut down in September 2018 and legally banned as it was accused of “conducting unauthorized activities and disturbing social order under the name of civil organization.”
In response, the church has been meeting in smaller groups. Even then, Pastor Ezra Jin Mingri is still closely monitored and banned from leaving the country. His daughter also could not join her law school in the U.S. in July 2019 thanks to the travel restrictions placed on her. In the same month, Pastor Jin was summoned by the police for hosting a seminar on Christianity and College Education in China.
On April 28, ICC reported that two preachers from the church, Qie Jiafu and Huang Chunzi, were taken from their homes and put in detention.
The space for house churches to exist in China is rapidly shrinking. Persecution will become their routine if they refuse to join the “official” churches.
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