20 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/01/2011
CHINA
Beijing and Guangzhou attack underground Churches
In the two metropolises, underground Christian communities face new challenges. In addition to the ever-present threat of violence, the authorities now use administrative rules and legal technicalities to shut down Churches. The faithful, however, are prepared to pray even in snow-covered parks.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Underground Chinese Christians are increasingly the target of the authorities. Recently, one of the largest home Church has been shut down. Another one in Guangzhou has been forced to stop its activities, whilst a third one has been expelled from the premises it had rented. Although less violent as in the past, such actions shows how the central government is pursuing relentlessly and more effectively its policy of religious repression.

The Beijing-based Shouwang Church, with about 800 members, now has nowhere to worship after Sunday as its landlord has come under pressure to stop renting it a spacious film studio to host its services, Rev Jin Tianming said.

It is not the first time that this Church has been under pressure to stop meeting. It has been evicted from rented premises many times in the past and the authorities have used administrative measures, such as allegations that it breached fire regulations, to put pressure on the Church to close.

The faithful however plan to hang tight. To each act of persecution, they respond peacefully. The last time they were kicked out from their place of worship, in November 2009, they held Sunday worship outdoors, when the Church was forced to hold services in a park in a snowstorm.

Under Chinese law, unauthorised meetings are illegal, but "We don't have a choice," Rev Jin said. "We're willing to face the consequences."

In Guangzhou, things are not much better. Local authorities ordered the Tianyun Church, which has a congregation of about 200, to stop worshipping starting this week.

Another Guangzhou house Church, which has a congregation of 4,000, is also feeling the squeeze after its landlord succumbed to pressure and stopped letting out premises the church had used as an extension to host its bulging congregation. The Rongguili Church owns its main worship venue.

Professor Ying Fuk-tsang, a divinity scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the authorities tend to be anxious about underground churches, which have expanded rapidly and now have large congregations.

"Many rights lawyers and intellectuals [who go to those churches] have criticised the government," he said.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/06/2005 CHINA
Underground Protestant clergyman on trial
05/20/2014 CHINA
Zhejiang: more crosses and churches demolished. Domestic and official Churches persecuted
by Bernardo Cervellera
12/27/2003 China
Christmas prayer prohibited by police
08/03/2008 VATICAN - CHINA
Benedict XVI's wishes for Beijing and the Olympics
by Bernardo Cervellera
04/10/2007 CHINA
Thousands are baptised in Beijing, while in Zhejiang two priests are imprisoned
by Bernardo Cervellera

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.