China: More church closures as Party tightens rules for its religious members

St Joseph's Church in Beijing.
One of China’s largest “house churches” in Beijing has been threatened with closure by the government following its refusal of a request to install cameras in the church building, reports Reuters. Zion Church received a letter from the city authorities in April, asking it to install 24 closed-circuit video cameras . . . Read More

China’s head of religious affairs warns of ‘domination’ by ‘foreign forces’

People leaving the church after a service in Shenyang, north-eastern Dongguang province. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China’s head of religious affairs has warned that the country’s religious groups must not be “dominated” by “foreign forces”, reports Reuters. “There is no affiliate relationship between our country’s religions and foreign religions. Our country’s religious groups and religious matters do not accept domination by foreign forces,” the religious affairs . . . Read More

China: Christian summer camps closed down, priests dismissed

Authorities make holding summer youth camps like this one held in 2008, increasingly difficult. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China has closed several Christian summer camps for children and dismissed two priests for holding a camp, reports Catholic news agency UCAN. The two priests belonged to one of the only two unregistered Catholic churches in Tianshui diocese, in China’s northwest Gansu province. After their dismissal, the Tianshui Municipal Ethnic . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More

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 . . . Read More