With nearly 100 million Christians, the Church is the largest social force in China not controlled by the Communist Party. As a result, there are increasing efforts to restrict the way Christians operate. A considerable number of Christians are still imprisoned. Church meetings continue to be disrupted in several provinces. Churches have also been closed and landlords pressured to stop renting to Christians. In 2017 some of China’s underground churches were pushed to join the state-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement, while a new law on religion is being rolled out in 2018.

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China’s ‘underground’ churches told to seek ‘guidance’ from state-approved bodies

A house church meeting in China in 2005. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

A newly implemented directive from the Chinese government forces Protestant ‘house churches’ and Catholic ‘underground’ communities to seek “guidance” from recognised religious organisations. A notification from the State Administration for Religious Affairs, issued earlier this month, requires organisers of religious activities at temporary sites to also apply for a permit […]

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Chinese pastor released after two and a half years in prison

Pastor Yang Hua (Release International)

A Chinese pastor was released yesterday (19 June), after being detained for two and a half years for “illegally possessing state secrets”, reports Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). Pastor Yang Hua of Huoshi Church (which means Living Stone), in the south-western province of Guizhou, was arrested in December 2015. He was […]

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China: Pastor and 200 church members detained for commemorating earthquake

People are sifting through the rubble to look for personal items after their homes were destroyed in an earthquake. (World Watch Monitor, 2008)

A church in Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, was raided by police on Saturday (12 May) as it prepared to commemorate the 10th anniversary of an earthquake that killed almost 90,000 people and left millions homeless. Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church was arrested alongside […]

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China: Protestant pastor found guilty of ‘intentionally divulging state secrets’

China: Protestant pastor found guilty of ‘intentionally divulging state secrets’

The pastor of a high-profile church in China has been sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two years, with a further six months’ residential surveillance, for “intentionally divulging state secrets”. Pastor Su Tianfu of Huoshi (Living Stone) Church in the south-western province of Guizhou had already been under […]

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China: children stopped from entering church as pressure on Henan Christians increases

Under new religious regulations in China, religious education to minors is prohibited. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Pressure on Christians is increasing in China’s central Henan province, according to Catholic news service UCAN. Suppressive measures on both Catholic and Protestant churches have been directed by the central government in Beijing and have intensified in recent weeks, according to UCAN, which reported that churches had been “demolished and […]

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China: ‘For Christians, the “grey” area is shrinking’

China's Communist Party is trying to suppress rapid growth among religions.(Photo: World Watch Monitor)

China’s Christians may not be surprised by recent tighter government control of religious affairs, including a ban on online Bible sales. But they are unsure what comes next. Following this month’s announcement that Bibles could no longer be made available online, large websites like Taobao, Jingdong, Weidian, Dangdang and Amazon […]

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China: clampdown reaches Christians in Henan

China: clampdown reaches Christians in Henan

Local authorities in China’s east-central Henan Province have removed a number of crosses from churches closed a church-run kindergarten and asked Christian residents in one city to register. The “two or three” crosses that have been forcibly removed from churches were located in Yichuan county, and were taken down because […]

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China pledges to protect religious freedom, days after Bible ban

Women, married to pastors who work in rural areas in China, meet in a church. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

China presented an official ‘white paper’ on religion on Wednesday, 4 April, guaranteeing “protection” for religious freedom, just four days after banning the online sale of Bibles. The policy paper, titled ‘China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief’, was presented by the State Council Information Office at […]

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