Chinese Believers Threatened with Labor Camp for Refusal to Join Government Church

Religion Today

Chinese Believers Threatened with Labor Camp for Refusal to Join Government Church


Three staff members of Houcun house church in Lichuan County in China's Jiangxi Province were summoned to the county government August 7 by police and the Religious Affairs Bureau and were coerced to join the government-controlled "Three-Self" Patriotic Movement church. According to ChinaAid, the purpose of the summons was to force church staff to annually submit to the government all names of believers being baptized  -- allegedly a legal requirement -- or be banned from meeting. The government also threatened to incarcerate Christians in detention and labor camps if the church continued to meet after being banned. On June 6, a summer camp held by Houcun house church was raided and banned by government agencies. A computer and overhead projector were confiscated and three teachers were taken into custody for interrogation. Though the teachers were released later that day and the confiscated property was eventually returned, the regular worship activities of the church were severely disrupted.

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