Another church in China has been issued with a legal notice to quit Christian activities in the latest of a spate of actions against house churches.
The house church in Sichuan province has been ordered to stop meeting under rules that govern religious gatherings. The church has been subjected to a clamp down because its pastors are not government-appointed and it is not an officially-licensed church.
Similar action has been taken recently against other house churches in Guangdong, Zhejiang, Anhui and Henan provinces.
Zhang Mingxuan, a pastor and president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, told China Aid that there was a large operation against house churches taking place throughout China. He described it as “harrassment” and said it “directly contradicts China’s own laws and its supposed commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.
The latest “Notice of Order to Reform”, issued to Pastor Zhang Daichun, stated he was guilty of gathering Christians in the 40th building of Jiuzhaigou Garden in Yongle County “to perform Christian activities (sing hymns, pray, chant) since 2010”.
Pastor Zhang was given 15 days to stop letting Christians in to worship, and to stop the hymn singing, praying and chanting.
Invited preachers were also banned in the notice, both from China and abroard.
“If you fail to make the corrections by the deadline, this department will impose administrative penalties according to the law,” the notice says.
China is ranked at 33 on the Open Doors persecution watch list. Open Doors writes: “Christians continue to face restrictions from the authorities. Church meetings are disrupted or stopped, and Christian lawyers defending churches from having their crosses forcibly removed have been imprisoned.
“Foreign influence in the fast-increasing Christian minority is seen as a threat to the Chinese government’s nationalistic control.”