Published On: Sat, Jun 2nd, 2012

Chinese targeting ‘unofficial’ churches

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RADIO FREE ASIA: Chinese authorities move to increase restrictions on unofficial churches.

Authorities in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan have requested a large family-based Christian church to halt its activities, the church’s pastor told RFA on Tuesday.

The move came as Chinese authorities intensified their harassment of Christians and cracked down on unofficial churches, called “house churches,” across several Chinese provinces.

“The authorities have asked us to end our family church congregations, calling our gatherings ‘illegal,” said Pastor Li, leader of the 1,500-member house church based in the Qili township of Sichuan’s Langzhong city.

“They…still haven’t taken direct action against us, but this has worried churchgoers,” Li added.

Li said the government warning arrived on May 18 in a notice delivered to the home of a church member, and was not sent to their meeting place.

“Our prayer meeting of that day had about 20 believers,” Li said, adding that because of the large size of his congregation, church meetings are held in small groups in area villages.

Full story: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/church-05222012182529.html

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