Shijiazhuang Police Disrupt House Church Gathering

May 7, 2012 Updated: May 8, 2012

Police disrupted a house church gathering in Shijiazhuang of Hebei Province on April 5. Around 9:40 a.m., several police officers and District Bureau of Religious Affairs officials suddenly broke into a house church where nearly a hundred Christians were praying and conducting religious activities, according to Voice of America (VOA). The police said the gathering was illegal.

Mr. Yang, one of the house church organizers, told VOA, “The director of Qiaoxi District Bureau of Religious Affairs said that our gathering today was dismissed, and from now on our service must be conducted at the Communist Party’s official Three-Self Church. The police also told us to write down our names, and we did.”

Zhu Xinxin, a Christian who participated in the gathering said that the Chinese authorities seem to have lost control of house churches. “House churches in China are an open secret. Although the authorities don’t allow us to publicly spread our belief, the scales and numbers of house churches are so huge that the authorities haven’t been able to stop them. House church meetings have quietly been conducted in many places,” she said.

Zhang Mingxuan, a Chinese house church representative, told VOA that although the Party’s suppression of house churches seems to have weakened, many Christians are intimidated and remain silent. He said, “China is big. Many dare not to speak out about the suppression. That is the actual situation.”