China Takes Action To End House Churches
The recent election of Xi Jingping has not made any difference for the Christians, either. One Pastor, who has been under house arrest with his wife since for almost two years, recently had his outside exercise privileges taken away for attending a weekly prayer meeting at a church. The three phase plan consists of investigation and research of house churches (January-June 2012), the second phase is the "crackdown" phase that has continued into this year. During the second phase the government will try to convince house churches to become "house gatherings" and thus banning the former term. Churches are being encouraged to join the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and many have to avoid persecution, but joining this movement would give the government more power over these places of worship. For example, a church that is part of the TSPM gives the government sermon editing rights. The third phase would be of course to completely eradicate these churches that do not comply with the TSPM.
Protestant house Churches are numbered at about 45-60 million in China today.
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