Campaign Against China's Christians Spreads to Guangdong Province

Reported by Qiao Long for Radio Free Asia. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have stepped up their targeting of unofficial "house" churches not regulated by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in its Three-Self Protestant Association.

The Zhongfu Wanmin Church in Guangdong's industrial city of Dongguan has been forced to move premises after it received an official letter from the local religious affairs bureau requiring it to "cease all illegal religious activities," its pastor told RFA on Friday.

"A lot of churches are getting these letters saying they are carrying out illegal religious activities now, and requiring them to stop," pastor Li Peng said.

"Some have been forced to stop gathering for worship, while others have been forced to move premises," he said.

"[We have been] inspected and told to stop," Li said. "Then I requested an administrative review, and then I filed a lawsuit, but that failed."

Li said the church is continuing to meet in premises bought with loans taken out by the congregation.

The crackdown in Guangdong comes after authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang launched a regional campaign targeting visible church crosses for demolition as "illegal structures" in the name of civic pride.

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