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Screws tightened on House Church

BEIJING (AsiaNews): An intimidation campaign has been launched against a House Church in Guizhou province, with local authorities threatening to sue its members and bar their children from tertiary education.

The United States of America-based ChinaAid said in a press release on July 16 that people attending the Huaqiu Church were told that if they didn’t stop bringing their children to Church, they would not be admitted to any university or military academy.

On top of that, they were told that if they continued to bring underage children to Church they would be sued by the local government.

Reverend Mou, the head of the Huaqiu Church, said a notice detailing these rules had been sent to local schools.

“They intend to cleanse us and ask us to join the Three-Self Patriotic Movement,” Reverend Mou said, explaining that the organisation is an association that supervises the activities of Protestant Churches in much the same way as the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association does in the Catholic Church.

As part of the campaign, the Church has been prevented from holding Sunday services over the past two weeks. “Huaqiu is in a dark place,” Reverend Mou lamented.

In recent years, China has moved to gradually tightenº its control over religious groups, especially Christians whose numbers have been growing steadily.

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