Church in Sichuan penalized for holding religious services

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A church in Sichuan province, China, has received orders from the government office to stop holding meetings or religious services. The instructions comes at a time when authorities are mercilessly clamping down on human rights activists or any gathering that could sensitize Chinese people against the government.

The persecuted church in Sichuan recently released an official document signed on September 2 which it received from the government office.

A translation of the issued orders appear below:

Notice of Order to Reform

Jiuzhaigou Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau order to reform [2016] No.1

Zhang Daichun:

According to investigations, you have gathered large numbers of Christians at No. 1-2 of the 40th building of Jiuzhaigou Garden, Yongle County, Jiuzhaigou Town to perform Christian activities (sing hymns, pray, chant) since 2010, violating the stipulations of the second clause of Article 53 of the Sichuan Province Regulations on Religious Affairs and the first clause of Article 54 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. You are now ordered to carry out the following corrections within 15 days of receiving this notice:

  1. Stop admitting Christians into No. 1-2 of the 40th building of Jiuzhaigou Garden to perform religious activities, such as singing hymns, praying and chanting.
  2. Stop allowing non-cleric personnel into No. 1-2 of the 40th building of Jiuzhaigou Garden to preach and Christian activities.
  3. Stop admitting clerics who come from abroad into No. 1-2 of the 40th building of Jiuzhaigou Garden to preach and conduct Christian activities.

If you fail to make the corrections by the deadline, this department will impose administrative penalties according to the law.

You are hereby notified.
Jiuzhaigou Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau (official seal)
Sept. 2, 2016

Signature of person involved: __________                              Date: _____Year_____ Month____Day

Signatures of law enforcement officers  Ma Yide  Zhang Min   Date: 2016/09/2

China Aid, a religious organization that’s fighting against the government’s human rights violation, is hoping to bring an end to this cruelty against Christians in the country.

As seen in the translated document above, the order issued to Zhang Daichun, a member of the church, forbids the congregation to hold activities. Citizens are not allowed to freely practice their religious beliefs.

Consequentially, the bureau threatened to impose administrative penalties if the church failed to heed warnings.

Funny enough, the paper says only clerics officially appointed by the government will be allowed to preach, also making it clear that hosting foreign pastors at their current location is forbidden.

What’s your opinion about the Chinese government’s intrusion in church affairs.

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