Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Secret Document Reveals Chinese Government’s Campaign Against Unregistered Churches

Posted by radiofreechina on November 14, 2007

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

MIDLAND, TX (ANS) Christian Aid Association (CAA), based in Midland, Texas, says it has recently received a secret document from a “reliable government source” showing the Chinese government has been launching a nationwide campaign against unregistered Christian churches since July of this year.

CAA states that the “confidential” (jimi) document was issued on July 24, 2007 by the Duodao District Committee Office of Jingmen Municipality of the Communist Party of China, Hubei province. The document number is listed as “Duo Ban Fa [2007] No. 18” which seems compatible with the standard way of document listing by the Chinese government. In order to protect the source, CAA has to omit the specific three-digit serial number on the top of the document.

The document entitled as “Notice on Forwarding ‘Work Plan for Special Administration on Christian Activities in Duodao District’ from Duodao District Committee Office of the Communist Party of China and Office of Duodao District People’s Government” (Work Plan) was issued to all township and neighborhood Party committees, all people’s governments, neighborhood offices, and relevant work units. According to the document, the work Plan was formulated by the Department of United Front of District Committee, District Bureau for Religious Affairs of Ethnic Minorities and Duodao Branch of the Public Security Bureau (PSB).

Though this document was issued in a local level, it does reveal that the central government has directed a national campaign specifically against unregistered Christian House churches. According to the document, the secret campaign was launched “based on the relevant documents from the central government, provincial government, and municipal government and the decisions from the working conference on special administration on Christianity throughout our province.” Moreover, according to “Guidelines and General Requirements” of the Work Plan, the whole campaign was urged and instructed by the National Christian Working Seminar and “leading comrades in the central government.”

CAA learned that the central government convened a secret National Christian Working Seminar which is called “601 Conference” on June 1, 2007.

The purpose of the crackdown was said to “Fight against infiltration activities by hostile overseas forces under the guise of Christianity and safeguard the stability in our society and in the religious arena.” By urging the government-sanctioned patriotic Christian organizations to work closely with the public security agents, the aim of the campaign is to establish” a socialized mechanism of management of religious affairs.”

According to the document, the duration of the crackdown was “set at five and a half months, starting on June 15 and ending November 30 in three phases” including propaganda, actions, and inspection.

As for the self-appointed missionaries (house church leaders), the document urges to “tackle the problem in three ways: education and stop, order them to stop their activities and crack down on their activities according to law.” For those unregistered churches, the public security agencies are asked to “work with departments in charge of religious affairs and resolutely stop their activities. In the meantime, the leaders of the site should be investigated and due penalties rendered. All their illegally acquired income shall be confiscated.”

Furthermore, for unauthorized churches that were found preaching “heresies, religious fanaticism, feudal superstition, or harm the physical and mental health of the people, and violate the laws of the state,” the public security agencies are urged to “resolutely crack down on them and abolish them on the basis of sufficient evidence.”

Finally the whole campaign was asked to be carried out in super secrecy. “Being serious internally and lax externally with strict confidentiality. We should only perform the special administration, but not talk about it. Without approval from the district’s leading team for the special administration, no agencies in all the areas shall disclose the information in this document to any media. All the documents for the special administration are classified as “confidential” and must be printed in serial numbers. After the documents are used, they shall be stored at a confidential room and their content must not be disclosed.”

CAA says that it also received four sets of registration forms from Yu’an District, Liu’an city, Anhui province showing both the believers and their relatives are mandated to fill these forms including their personal data such as when they become Christians, who introduced and where the meeting place is, both home and work addresses, date of birth and their IDs etc.

“This campaign is another clear example of absolute violation of the relevant international human rights covenants and China’s own Constitution on protection of citizen’s religious freedom,” said Bob Fu, “We urge the Chinese government to stop this kind of illegal secret practice if China intends to be a true respected responsible stakeholder in the international community.”

For more information, go to www.ChinaAid.org.


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