A church in China’s Sichuan province has been decreed to quit Christian activities, as the church administration receives a legal notice from the authorities. The congregation targeted this time is prohibited from conducting prayer services; the church faces restriction on grounds that the pastors were appointed by the government.
This is not the first time, when the Chinese authorities have issued such notice to a church, for a fact, similar notices were issued to house churches in Guangdong, Zhejiang, Anhui and Henan provinces. This time round, a house church in Sichuan province has been singled out.
“Notice of Order to Reform,” was issued to Pastor Zhang Daichun, stating that he was guilty of conducting gatherings of Christians in the 40th building of Jiuzhaigou Garden in Yongle County. The notice further stated that he had was found at fault “to perform Christian activities (sing hymns, pray, chant) since 2010.”
For this reason, the authorities granted the beleaguered Pastor Zhang 15 days to halt his activities by facilitating Christians to worship. He was barred from letting Christians to sing hymns, pray and chant religious slogans. “If you fail to make the corrections by the deadline, this department will impose administrative penalties according to the law,” the notice said.
In line with Open Doors a persecution watchdog, China sits at number 33 in a list of top 50 most dangerous countries for Christians. “Christians continue to face restrictions from the authorities. Church meetings are disrupted or stopped, and Christian lawyers defending churches from having their crosses forcibly removed have been imprisoned. Foreign influence in the fast-increasing Christian minority is seen as a threat to the Chinese government’s nationalistic control.”