GUANGZHOU, Guangdong (China Aid) — Officials in China’s southern Guangdong province began harassing a house church recently as part of an ongoing crackdown on unofficial churches.
On June 7, Pastor Zhang from Zhongfu Canaan Church informed a China Aid reporter that authorities summoned him to discuss the possibility of moving the church. During the conversation, they asked him about the identity of his church members and the funding of the church. The authorities also requested that the church—which they termed an ‘illegal gathering’—join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM).
“I made my position clear,” Zhang said to the reporter. “I told [the authorities] that the church was by no means a recent establishment; it had been there for a few decades … We cannot join the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. The town government [that operates] in the village hasn’t come to find us yet, but the landlord said today that officials from the public security, firefighting and various other industry and commerce departments will soon enforce the law here. No [official] has come yet [to enforce], but the landlord is already very frightened. He said, ‘You need to move out immediately….’ This is our current circumstance.”