Having undergone investigation earlier this year, the re-opened Rehoboth School in Liaoning was forced to close down for good, amid the threats to arrest its principal.
In early July, Bitter Winter reported about the Rehoboth School located in Shenyang city of northwestern Liaoning Province, which was closed down for two months because of religious affiliation. Three of its foreign instructors have been deported from China.
When the classes resumed, the authorities were still suspicious on account of the Christian faith of the teachers, and the school was subjected to round the clock surveillance. Government officials would often disrupt classes, demanding to know if students carried Bibles with them. They also harassed the administration to remove the cross from the school’s emblem on multiple occasions.
In late September, the local government issued a notice demanding that the school must be shut down by October 8. It also mentioned that the word “Rehoboth” – a reference to three biblical places – must be removed from the school’s signboard. Failure to obey these orders would result in the school principal’s arrest, the notice warned. The administration decided to shut down the school soon after.
However, the principal revealed that it was the local government that had invited him years ago to set up the school in the first place. He had invested more than 10 million RMB (almost 1,5 million USD) into it over the years and was dejected to see it closed down due to the Communist Party’s agenda against religious faith.
The students here were mostly those who were born in the United States but had now returned with their families to China. Since they are more used to the free American style of learning, the parents are unable to find a suitable school for their children after the closure of Rehoboth now.
Reported by Piao Junying