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

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 . . . Read More

China’s Communist Party increases control over religious affairs

The opening ceremony of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, held in October 2017. The Congress is the most important political event in China where decisions taken by the Central Committee are endorsed. (Photo by Prachatai via Flickr; CC 2.0)
China’s Communist Party has disbanded its Religious Affairs Bureau to bring religion under the control of the party’s Central Committee, in what some observers see as a further tightening of the belt. The State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) is to be absorbed by the United Front Work Department, an . . . Read More

China: 6 Christians jailed as pressure on churches increases

Group of Christians praying together in Beijing. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A Chinese court in the southwestern province of Yunnan sent six Protestant Christians to prison last week for their membership of an “evil cult”. The verdict comes as part of a provincial crackdown on cults, as the ruling Communist Party continues its national campaign to restrict unregistered churches before new religious . . . Read More

China: Christmas banned by university’s communists

China: Christmas banned by university’s communists
A Chinese university has banned Christmas in order to help young people resist the “corrosion of Western religious culture”, reports The Telegraph. A notice posted online at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, north-eastern China, said “some young people are blindly excited by Western holidays, especially religious holidays like Christmas Eve and Christmas . . . Read More