Large church in Xuzhou banned in latest Chinese attack on unofficial congregations
Chinese authorities have banned a major unregistered church from operating in the city of Xuzhou city in the eastern province of Jiangsu.
The ban on Dao En Presbyterian Church comes after an onslaught of harassment by the local religious affairs department in 2018.
Three of its church buildings have been closed, and the police are pressuring landlords to stop renting properties to the church.
Earlier this year, on 10 February, also in the province of Jiangsu, authorities removed a cross from a 3,000-strong registered Christian church in Chengdong.
The past year has seen an intensification of regional authorities clamping down mainly against unofficial congregations, known as “house churches” in China. One of the most notable shutdowns was when more than 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church were arrested in coordinated police action on 9 December 2018. As of 4 July 2019, its pastor, Wang Yi, and four other members remained in detention.
Updates on Pastor Wang Yi’s situation are on the Barnabas Fund website for Prisoners of Conscience: https://barnabasfund.org/en/Christian-Prisoners-of-Conscience/Wang-Yi