Largest house church in Xiamen targeted by Chinese government, Christian watchdog organization reports

According to ChinaAid, a Texas-based nonprofit organization monitoring Christian persecution in China, Pastor Yang Xibo and his wife, Wang Xiaofei, who oversee the Xunsiding Church, have been collectively fined 400,000 yuan (approximately $55,100) for arranging religious gatherings.

Largest house church in Xiamen targeted by Chinese government, Christian watchdog organization reports
ChinaAid
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A religious persecution watchdog organization has reported that the Chinese government is imposing significant penalties on the leader of a sizable house church in China, denoting it as an instance of religious oppression.

According to ChinaAid, a Texas-based nonprofit organization monitoring Christian persecution in China, Pastor Yang Xibo and his wife, Wang Xiaofei, who oversee the Xunsiding Church, have been collectively fined 400,000 yuan (approximately $55,100) for arranging religious gatherings.

Situated in Xiamen, a coastal port city across the strait from Taiwan, Xunsiding Church holds the distinction of being the most sizable house church in the area. House churches refer to Christian congregations that have opted not to register with China's authorized Protestant or Roman Catholic churches, Fox News reports.

ChinaAid reports that the Christian couple has been engaged in a protracted struggle against the imposed fine since 2021. However, on June 28, the fine was purportedly doubled. In a recent social media announcement, the couple declared their decision to resist paying the penalty.

"Thank God for allowing us to have a part in His affliction, and especially thankful that on Earth we have no property for the court-enforced implementation, which is definitely a great grace of God," they wrote.

According to ChinaAid, Yang Xibo, a fourth-generation clergy member, carries on the legacy of his incarcerated father and aunt who were both imprisoned for their refusal to join the officially recognized Three-Self Church in China.

In May 2019, Xunsiding Church faced its initial prohibition and incurred a fine of 25,000 yuan. As per reports, the Chinese government deployed police forces to encircle the church and subject it to persistent harassment for a duration of 30 days.

According to ChinaAid, the Xunsiding Church congregation frequently changed locations due to the constant monitoring by state authorities and recurrent raids that resulted in the destruction of personal belongings.

Additionally, members were compelled to enroll their children in public schools. ChinaAid asserts that this relentless targeting of Xunsiding Church is part of a broader campaign against unregistered churches in China. The group emphasizes that the country strictly oversees the religious practices of only five authorized religious groups.

ChinaAid president Bob Fu stated in March during an interview with Fox News Digital that the persecution of Christians in China has reached a level of severity that has not been witnessed since the time of the Cultural Revolution led by Mao Zedong.

As per a report published by his organization earlier this year, Chinese Christians are being subjected to regular imprisonment and torture. The government is reportedly exploiting the practice of tithes and offerings in Christianity to fabricate fraud charges, aiming to "financially suffocate" the house churches.

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  • By David Menzies

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