State-vetted Churches in China Turned into Cultural Centers

07/18/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – As China continues to crack down on churches, some state-approved Three-Self churches have been converted to cultural centers “voluntarily.”

China Aid reports that recently Flowing Stream Church in Funing County’s Yangzai township, Jiangsu province, has been forcibly occupied by the local government and converted to “Yangzai Township Flowing Stream Village Cultural Service Center.”

In 2019, the Three-Self church was first disbanded by the local United Front Department, and was accused for “occupying village’s cultural base.”

A local villager told China Aid that after the local authorities converted the building into a cultural service center, it has been promoting President Xi Jinping’s core socialist values and spreading “positive energy.”

Another church in vicinity, Beizhouzhuang Church, also experienced the same treatment. It was converted to “Beizhouzhuang Cultural Compound,” after the members “voluntarily donated the venue for the village (according to the government),” although the church was also first disbanded last October for not having the right registration.

Beizhouzhuang Church members have since been unable to gather as a result of the government takeover.