Over the past two months, at least a dozen of house church meeting venues were forcibly closed down in the province of Hubei, Fujian, and Liaoning.
The CCP’s nationwide campaign to exterminate disobedient house churches refusing to join the Three-Self Church is fully underway, some local governments claiming to eliminate all under their jurisdictions within two years.
On April 14, two house church meeting venues in Jiang’an district of Wuhan city in the central province of Hubei were forcibly shut down, authorities looting their assets.
About 20 personnel, including the deputy head of the district’s United Front Work Department, broke into a house church meeting venue in Jinyuan Plaza and rummaged through its every room, eventually confiscating the donation box, hundreds of books, including Bibles and hymnbooks; even cushions used for praying were seized.
The police registered the ID information of the church’s director and several co-workers, threatening them not to go online or send WeChat messages, and locked the church door.
At another house church in the same district, the police savagely dismantled the cross and confiscated the donation box, as well as over 100 Bibles and hymnbooks.
“We don’t need to give you an explanation for coming to seize your things. If you don’t cooperate with us as we enforce the law, you will have committed a big crime,” one police officer threatened, according to members of the congregation.
Over in the southeastern province of Fujian, two house church meeting venues were forcibly closed down in Mawei district of the capital city of Fuzhou.
One of the venues was sealed off on April 30, because the authorities deemed the building dangerous for congregating. According to one of the believers there, the church’s director had asked the authorities to overhaul or rebuild the meeting venue, but the government stated that the church must join the Three-Self Church in order to continue operating.
“As soon as we join the Three-Self Church, we’ll be indoctrinated and forced to hold gatherings and give sermons as per the government’s wishes,” another church believer explained their reluctance to join the official Protestant Church.
Wuzhuang Church, the second of the harassed churches in Mawei district, was shut down on May 20. According to one of the church’s believers, town government officials continuously threatened to cut off electricity and water supply if the church didn’t register to join the Three-Self Church, the harassment starting as early as 2013.
In mid-May, the meeting venues of the House of Eternal Blessing Church, Kangshanli Church, and other previously harassed churches in Fuzhou came under new attacks and were forced to stop holding gatherings. Officials claimed that these meeting venues were the key targets of the religious crackdown in the province.
On May 27, Banner Church, located in Shenyang city of the northeastern province of Liaoning, was shut down by the Religious Affairs Bureau of Huanggu district.