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: 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 . . . 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

Chinese church leaders released, as parents ignore religious-teaching ban

A Chinese Christian holds a Bible standing outside the largest Chinese church in the world: the Three Self church which seats 5,000 people, in Hangzhou city. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Chinese bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of the coastal city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang, was released on Wednesday (3 January) after being detained for seven months – the second high-profile church leader released in the past two weeks. It is thought international pressure helped secure the bishop’s release, according to AsiaNews. In . . . 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