BEIJING (China Aid) — Two house churches in Beijing reported that authorities in the past week have investigated churches and pressured landlords to cancel the leases on houses of worship.
One of the churches chose to remain anonymous, though a member of this church named Yin said that on Sunday, May 6, the leader of the national security brigade of the Xicheng District Public Security Bureau brought a team of several dozen officers to the church’s service. Though the service was not disrupted, the officials took pictures and investigated the proceedings. On May 8, the national security brigade pressured the church’s landlord to revoke their lease.
“The police called us today,” Yin said, “and forbade us from organizing religious activities in any form. In the morning, the government forced the [Christian] brother who rented the building to sign a letter guaranteeing that he would not participate in any religious activities. We haven’t met with any representatives from the religious affairs bureau yet, and we don’t know how to handle all of this.”
Another church member said that the local police station said they would leave the church alone if the church met outside of their jurisdiction, but the church members fear that moving to a different district would simply incur persecution from authorities in the new area.