China’s Xiamen Cracks Down on House Churches Through Community Committees

03/21/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – In order to crack down on “illegal religious activities,” China’s Xiamen city is soliciting local residential committees’ help in reporting any illegal religious activities in the vicinity.

According to Yang Xibo, the pastor at Xiamen’s Xunsiding Church, on March 19, the Siming District United Front Department(UFD)/Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau sent out a notice to local district offices. It asked all the residential committees to continue to inspect privately set up gathering places during the weekend, in an effort to strengthen the crackdown of illegal religious activities and prevent those banned locations from coming back to life.

Residential and office buildings, along with business hotels, were listed as key locations to patrol. Some specific buildings were mentioned since they were previously reported. Once the inspectors spot activities taking place, they should immediately report them to the district UFD.

China Aid reports that this latest notice is in reality targeting house churches, since the Xiamen City government has been tightening control of house churches for two years. These churches, insisting to not join state-sanctioned churches, have had their small group gatherings at home and Sunday service raided, some churches demolished, while Christians are pushed to send their children to public schools.