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Court rejects Christians’ appeal, orders house church demolition


Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.

(Huaqiu, Guizhou—Jan. 5, 2016) A court in China’s southern Guizhou ruled in favor of seizing a house church declared an “illegal building” on Dec. 29.

On July 1, 2014, the Bureau of Land and Resources in Tongzi County issued a notice to Huaqiu Church, a house church that was built two months prior, that alleged that Christians constructed the building illegally, despite church attendees obtaining the correct documents and government ratification, and called for its destruction. The church members sued the Bureau of Land and Resources in April and requested that the penalties be overturned, but the court upheld the original decision. As a result, they decided to appeal, but their appeal was rejected on Dec. 29.

A Christian surnamed Mou revealed what he believes to be the real motive behind the officials’ decision to confiscate Huaqiu Church: “They have been always pushing us to register [as a Three-Self church], but we won’t.  Now, they have no way to deal with [us], and claim to take away our property.” Similarly, authorities pressured other house churches to join the Three-Self church after a new one was built in 2015.

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