Chinese Expel Shouwang Church Member from Beijing

Friday, July 1, 2011

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

BEIJING, China (Worthy News)-- Chinese authorities recently expelled yet another member of Beijing's largest unregistered house churches.

Chuan Liang was the second member of the Shouwang "keeping watch" Church to be expelled from the city since authorities compelled the congregation to meet outdoors; the first expulsion came after Shouwang Church held its fifth consecutive outdoor Sunday worship service when 15 members were taken to 10 police stations across Beijing, but most were released within 24 hours.

In the 12 weeks since Shouwang Church lost its indoor meeting site, Chinese authorities have tried different tactics to discourage church members from attending its Sunday services, including police detention, house arrest, eviction, and being fired from their jobs.

Shouwang Church leaders filed a protest against Liang's expulsion in its Statement on the Infringement of the Rights of Citizens of Faith: "The forced expatriation by Dongsheng Police Station and Haidian Public Security Bureau has constituted a complete contempt for and a flagrant violation of the law, in effect depriving a citizen of any guarantee of the most basic of foundational existential rights."

"We will organize legal experts from within our church and set up a legal small group that in the coming days will start collecting the necessary evidence in the cases of citizens of faith being forced to leave their jobs or being evicted because of their religious belief. In order to promote the establishment of a Chinese society ruled by law, we do not rule out the possibility, if the circumstances require, of holding legally responsible for violating the law the related individuals or departments who infringed upon the basic rights of these citizens of faith ... which will advance Chinese society becoming a society ruled by law."

Shouwang Church first started as a family Bible study group in 1993. By 2005, it had more than 10 fellowships, but in 2006, authorities rejected Shouwang's registration application and instead "asked" it to join the sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement Church.

Read more stories of Christian Persecution in China.