Worshipers were forced to either completely close down their gathering places or start meeting in small groups after a sequence of crackdowns on house churches that adhere to head-covering tradition.
A house church leader from Jiangxi recently revealed to Bitter Winter that since the beginning of this year, at least 30 Christian house church venues that follow head-covering tradition had been raided in the province’s Nanchang city; some of them were forced to close down permanently, while others are holding secret religious gatherings of two or three worshipers.
On May 10, three officers from Qingyunpu town police station stormed into the Lengshang church and demanded that the person in charge provided a list of believers and opened the donation box. They took all the money and interrogated the church supervisor about how the donation money had been spent in the past. After the incident, the worshipers are afraid to meet again in large numbers, so they hold meetings in smaller groups.
On May 17, three Public Security Bureau officers from Qingshanhu came to the Changtouling meeting place and threatened the assembled believers that since they had been given orders by the government to eliminate all religious faith, all unregistered believers would be dealt with, and no one would be held accountable, adding, “If we catch a leader, they will die even faster!” The officers took all the donation money and incited the neighbors to report on the church activities. The meeting place was forced to shut down, and more than 200 believers cannot gather together anymore.
On May 20, local government officials and police officers arrived at a meeting place on Yongwaizheng street and ordered to disband it within three days.
More meeting places had been forced to close down in various locations in Nanchang, such as Luojiaji town, sub-districts of Sanyanjing and Nangang, Nanchang county, Baixu township, and others.
Reported by Lin Yijiang