(Bitter Winter) — Since the new Regulations on Religious Affairs came into effect in February 2018, the Chinese authorities have been attempting to curb the growth of Christianity by ordering Protestant house churches to join the official Three-Self Church; those who don’t comply are shut down.
This February, local authorities raided a house church in Yuncheng city, in north China’s Shanxi Province after its leaders refused to join the Three-Self Church. Members of the congregation told Bitter Winter that since last year, government personnel have regularly visited the church to harass them into “becoming official.” As a means of pressure, the authorities have installed surveillance cameras at the entrance to the church to monitor their gatherings.
On February 26, 2019, the local government teamed up with the police and hired some villagers to cut off the lock of the church gate. They then took away all the tables and chairs, religious posters, and the cross that hung over the lectern.