Chinese Christians were forced to cancel a prayer meeting after government authorities said they did not have permission to gather together.
According to ChristianToday.com, Bishop Stephen Yang Xiangtai called for a prayer meeting after three churches in Handan province were vandalized. A day of prayer and fasting was planned, and the Christians were set to meet in one of the vandalised churches.
However, authorities from the Religious Affairs Bureau stepped in and prohibited the churches from engaging in the prayer meeting, claiming they did not have permission to gather Christians from different districts.
Some clerics were even placed under surveillance after the prayer meeting was cancelled, and citizens were prevented from entering the village where the meeting was set to take place.
"That the police and Public Safety are afraid of a gathering for prayer and penance is really laughable," a local Catholic Christian told Asia News.
China recently commemorated the twenty-seventh anniversary of the government’s massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, which has caused China’s communist government under President Xi Jinping to be on high alert for those who would undermine authority.
Christian persecution in China has been growing steadily worse in the last few years. As ChristianHeadlines.com previously reported, 1,700 churches have been demolished or their crosses taken down by the government in the past two years, and many Christians have been imprisoned.
Publication date: June 7, 2016