02/28/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – A well-known house church in China’s Xiamen city, previously banned by local authorities, received another administrative punishment on February 24 for setting up a campus at an office building.
According to Xunsiding Church’s Pastor Yang Xibo, he was out that day preaching, so his wife Wang Xiaofei received the decision letter from Siming District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau instead. Pastor Yang also received a similar notice in 2019.
The letter stated that Wang did not receive approval from the religious affairs bureau before setting up the “Xunsiding (Church) Campus” at #2004 of Hualong Building at No.6, Hubin East Road. Her action was in violation of Art. 20, Art. 21, Art.22, Art. 40, and Art. 41 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs (RRA).
Pursuant to Art. 69 of the RRA, the Bureau decided to ban “Xunsiding Campus.” Wang can file for administrative reconsideration within 60 days.
Xunsiding Church has been repeatedly harassed and raided by Siming Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau and local police over the last few years. Their church was last raided on December 6. A few members, including Wang Xiaofei, were brought to the police station and only released at night.
Their experience is not unique. With the Chinese government’s ongoing crackdown on house churches, police raids and harassment have become a new norm for many churches that are not state-sanctioned in China.