Chinese Authorities Deny Facility to Church, Arrest 48 From Outdoor Service

Religion Today

Chinese Authorities Deny Facility to Church, Arrest 48 From Outdoor Service


Authorities in China once again thwarted efforts by Beijing's Shouwang Church to lease a worship facility at the year's end, and the congregation met outdoors on Jan. 1, resulting in the arrest of 48 members, Compass Direct News reports. The church tried three times to rent three different venues, but was denied -- the latest in a months-long saga in which government officials have repeatedly refused the congregation access to a permanent worship place. Shouwang first began meeting outdoors last April after authorities blocked their attempts to rent worship venues or meet in a building they had purchased. Church leaders had hoped the situation would change in 2012, but authorities have instead shown "that they are determined to continue their crackdown on independent religious groups in the coming year," said Bob Fu, president of China Aid.

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