(Guangzhou, Guangdong—June 25, 2018) Local authorities broke into a Bible Reformed Church gathering in Guangzhou, Guangdong, on June 10, taking Pastor Huang Xiaoning and several other parishioners into custody. On Wednesday, the church received an administrative punishment notice from the local ethnic and religious affairs bureau, indicating that it must pay a hefty fine.
According to Huang, “20-30 government officials broke in (to Bible Reformed Church) while I was delivering my sermon and asked us to stop gathering. They also ordered us to submit our ID cards.” Huang, along with a Christian named Wang Chuanjun and two other church members, were taken to the sub-district office and interrogated them for hours.
“Today (June 20), the church received punishment notices from the municipal religious affairs bureau, the district religious affairs bureau, and the sub-district office,” Huang continued. The notice demanded that the church pay a 50,000 yuan ($7,685.45 USD) fine for holding religious activities. Authorities alleged the activities violated Article 41 of the Regulations on Religious Affairs. According to China’s religious stipulations, all buildings used for religious purposes must be registered with the state and subjected to state censorship in order to be considered legitimate religious venues. Apart from these, no venues may hold religious activities, Article 41 states.