Churches in Jilin’s Yushu city have been targeted increasingly by the Chinese authorities since the implementation of the new Regulations on Religious Affairs.
Bitter Winter has received reports about government-approved Protestant Three-Self churches being demolished in Jilin’s Yushu city. Starting in late March, the authorities have sealed at least nine churches and taken down their crosses.
It began with the Three-Self church in Huancheng Township. The authorities told believers they could not gather there anymore and if they did, they would be arrested. A month later in April, the church’s cross was taken down as well.
A week later after the first sealing, the Xinglong Three-Self Church in Wukeshu town was shut down, leaving more than 100 believers with no place to congregate. The Three-Self church in Tuqiao town was shut the same month as well, and its cross was taken down soon after.
In May, several more churches were targeted. These include a church in a village in Bahao town, Gaowopengtun church in Heilin, the gathering site in Xinyan Village, Tiande village church, Xinfa village church and finally, the church in Laoniugou village. The authorities, in these cases, resorted to a variety of measures like whitewashing and sawing off the crosses. All of these state-sanctioned churches were shut down by government authorities without presenting any legal reason for doing so.
Based on direct reports from China.
Bitter Winter plans to report on how religions are allowed, or not allowed, to operate in China and how some are severely persecuted after they are labeled as “xie jiao,” or heterodox teachings. We plan to publish news difficult to find elsewhere, analyses, and debates.
Placed under the editorship of Massimo Introvigne, one of the most well-known scholars of religion internationally, “Bitter Winter” is a cooperative enterprise by scholars, human rights activists, and members of religious organizations persecuted in China (some of them have elected, for obvious reasons, to remain anonymous).