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Officials close church for holding services

ChinaAid: A pastor in China’s northeastern Liaoning province told ChinaAid that the church he pastors is considering legal recourse after local authorities forbade it from meeting again.

On Dec. 20, the Suizhong County Religious Affairs Bureau verbally warned members of an unregistered house church headed by Pastor Wang Zhongliang not to attend services and issued a notice banning it because it has not received approval to hold religious activities.

The notice also asked Christians to “please go to a legitimate religious venue to participate in religious activities.” However, according to Ms. Chen, a Cantonese Christian, access to state-approved churches in China is very limited, and most Christians can only hold services in their homes. Corroborating her claim, Xu Yonghai, an elder of Holy Love Fellowship in Beijing, said only a dozen Three-Self Churches serve Beijing’s 21.5 million person population and lack the occupancy to hold all of the city’s Christians, demonstrating that this problem isn’t limited to Huludao.

Wang said that while the church is closed for now, it is studying its legal options.