Police are telling Christians in China they are not allowed to believe in God.
The report comes from Bitter Winter, an online magazine that focuses on religious liberty and human rights in China.
Raids and pressure on house churches by police and government officials across China have intensified in the past few months, the magazine noted.
On June 28, four law enforcement officials were led by the deputy secretary of Leiyang in Hunan province in the raid of a house church.
“They confiscated the church’s donation box and destroyed 10 Bible verses on the walls,” the magazine reported.
And when officials were asked why they were destroying church property, one said it was because of the Christians’ “disobedience.”
It is “illegal to hold religious gatherings without a permit or joining the Three-Self Church,” he said.
The Three-Self Patriotic Movement is the communist government-controlled church organization that all Protestant churches are required to join.
On May 17, the government’s Religious Affairs Bureau in the province’s Yongzhou city closed a house church for its “illegal gatherings” and confiscated property, including a computer, photocopier and Bibles.
And on April 19, police in Dengzhou city in the central province of Henan raided a Sola Fide church gathering, confiscated its Bibles and hymnbooks. Eight congregation members were take to a police station for interrogation.
One of the church members who was interrogated told Bitter Winter an officer said they “could not believe in God in China.”
“We don’t break any law by believing in God, but the government treats us this way. The government wants to eliminate all religions and threatens us with the future of our family members, forcing us to give up our belief. It’s really shameless,” the said the church member, whose name was withheld for security reasons.
Christians report that officials have threatened to demolish their homes if they hold meetings there.
The director of another house church told Bitter Winter the local communist government summoned him in May and threatened to fine him the equivalent of about $ 4,300 if he was discovered holding a gathering. If caught a second time, the fine would spike to about $43,000. (Click to Source)
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