A house church in China has been branded illegal by local officials and forced to stop holding meetings.
The church in Dazhou, Sichuan province, was told last month that it may no longer rent an apartment to hold religious services. Its members are accusing authorities of restricting their religious freedom.
Li Shengfen, who attends the church, told advocacy organisation China Aid: “They looked at our Bibles. After that, in order to understand our church, they looked at our poetry. Because the place where we worship has a cross, a Bible and some scripture on the walls, they looked at it all.
“I said ‘Right now, is this freedom of religion?’ If we go to the city to meet, many of the Christians are old and some people get carsick. I said, ‘How can you not give us freedom?'”
Li said the local government has told the church to apply for registration, but because the church has less than 50 members, it is not required to do this by law.
Li complained to officials but was told that the church would not be allowed to continue meeting.
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