The government of China is now taking action to double the already exorbitant fines they’ve slapped on a Christian pastor and his spouse who lead a house church in the communist country, according to a brand new report put out by ChinaAid, which is a Christian nonprofit organization focused on the persecution of believers in China.
Pastor Yang Xibo and his wife, Wang Xiaofei, are the leaders of the Xunsiding Church located in Xiamen, which is located in southeast China. Xunsiding is a house church, which means that it is what is known as an “underground” church that is not sanctioned by the Three-Self Church. The Three-Self Church is a supervisory group comprised of state-controlled protestant churches located in China. The pastor and his wife are now looking at a fine of 400,000 yuan, which is equal to $55,100 in U.S. dollars, according to The Daily Wire.
“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,” Pastor Yang Xibo and his wife stated in a post that was published on social media in response to the hefty fine. Being able to thank God for allowing them to go through persecution is a testament to the strength of the couple’s faith. What an example to share with believers all across the world.
We should never belittle another person’s suffering, I think it’s safe to say that Christians in America, who are largely just made fun of and mocked for being bold in declaring their faith and worshiping the God of the Bible, are blessed beyond measure to not have to worry about the level of persecution Pastor Yang Xibo and his wife are enduring. One more reason to be thankful for a free country on Independence Day.
“Xunsiding is the largest house church in Xiamen, and it was initially fined 25,000 yuan, or roughly $3,400, in May 2019. In the wake of the fine, the Chinese government sent police to ‘surround’ the venue, according to ChinaAid. The police reportedly ‘besieged’ the church venue for a month and surveilled congregants ‘constantly,'” the report said.
“As a result, the church changed meeting spaces frequently only to be met with more raids and bans,” ChinaAid went on to reveal in its report. “During raids, authorities demolished private property and forced members to send their children to public schools.”
“Pastor Yang and his wife began fighting to overturn the fine in 2021, but all appeals have been rejected by Communist Party bureaucracies in the country, the watchdog reports. In a May update on Pastor Yang’s situation, ChinaAid reported that an administrative lawsuit ordered the couple to pay $25,000. They are accused of ‘organizing illegal gatherings,'” the DW said.
On June 28, the total amount of the fines exceeded $50,000, according to information revealed by the organization. Yang and his bride stated in a post on social media that they would not pay the fine.
House churches in China are extremely popular due to the fact that any church that has official sanction by the Three-Self Church suffer from heavy censorship, having content that is taught and preached controlled by the government. Which is what happens each and every time communism is attempted no matter what region in the world. Christianity in particular encourages personal liberty and personal responsibility, while also promoting unity as a body of believers. It does not support the promotion of the supremacy of the state.
However, in such countries, the state often sees itself as “god,” having the right to decide what should be law, what freedom should be allowed, and so on. If they are indeed the ultimate authority, then they have the power to give and take away rights. Christianity sees God as the ultimate authority, therefore, only He gives and takes away rights, not the government.
You can see why communist governments like the one in China hate Christianity so passionately.
Underground house churches in China are considered illegal. This is why they usually meet in undisclosed, or rotating locations.
“The persecution of Christians in China has been a major problem for years. Open Doors USA, a Christian organization committed to serving persecuted Christians, releases a ‘World Watch List’ annually, outlining the top 50 countries where the persecution of Christians is highest,'” the report stated. “According to the 2023 World Watch List, China ranks 16th for Christian persecution. Surveillance is a significant issue, allowing the state to monitor and close down churches, according to the organization. A source told Open Doors that pastors and Christian leaders ‘are simply snatched away, only to appear months later in a kind of house arrest, where they get re-educated.'”
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