04/19/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – On April 13, a church in the capital of east-central China’s Henan province received a disbandment notice from the government, calling its religious activities illegal.
According to the notice shared by the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, the Zhengzhou-based Antioch Church received the notice from Zhengzhou Civil Affairs Bureau, claiming that the church has been conducting activities as a social group without registration, which is in violation of Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations, Chapter 3 Art. 9, “[…] to establish a social organization, an application should be submitted, after receiving the sponsor organization’s examination and approval.”
Now the bureau will ban the church in accordance to Art. 32, “The registration and management bureau must cancel the registration of social organizations that engage in fraudulent or deceptive activity.”
Part of Art. 33 was also quoted in the notice – “If one of the following circumstances occurs to a social organization, the registration and management bureau must give a warning and order a correction, and can suspend activities for a defined period of time, as well as order the dismissal of the person directly responsible; in the event of more serious circumstances, the registration will be cancelled and if the act constitutes a crime, criminal punishment will be levied in accordance with the law.”
China Aid reports that local Christians in Zhengzhou said they have heard about Antioch Church, but are not familiar with the latest update.