China: House church fined over $5 million
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – As Chinese authorities continue to crack down on churches that refuse to join the state-approved Three-Self Patriotic Church denomination, the Royal Wedding Church in Zhuhai, Guangdong province is facing a fine of over five million USD, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Founded in 2006, the 1,500-member Royal Wedding Church was targeted by the Xiangzhou District Religious Affairs Bureau on September 27, 2016, ICC reports. Authorities removed 40 computers and 4,4310 USD and arrested 13 church members, including the pastor Wei Xiaomei. The pastor and two others were charged with “fraud” and were imprisoned until their release on probation in 2018.
However, the authorities have continued to target the Royal Wedding Church by demanding payment of administrative, punitive fines, now totaling (5,317,200 USD), ICC said. The church has hired lawyers to litigate the demands in court, but no progress has been made thus far.
In its report on the case, ICC published a list of prayer requests made by church member Hu Xunchun:
1. Pray for the Christians involved so that they will have the might and wisdom to face this punishment;
2. Pray for the judiciary and law enforcement personnel in Zhuhai: Religious Affairs Bureau, Public Security, and Intermediate People’s Court;
3. Pray for the church’s legal team;
4. Pray for more lawyers to take on this case which was against the law in the first place.
China is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party and ranks 17th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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