Authorities shut down a more than 20-year-old house church located in Yaopu town of the prefecture-level city of Tieling, in the northeastern province of Liaoning, after it refused to join the state-sanctioned Protestant Three-Self Church. A source speaking on condition of anonymity, told Bitter Winter that the closure comes after officials for the United Front Work Department of Diaobingshan city, which is under Tieling’s administration, convened a meeting of more than 30 employees of neighborhood committees to begin an intense crackdown on home gatherings of all religious persuasions – from Christians to Buddhists to Muslims.
It was decided at the meeting that religious believers are only allowed to attend gatherings at religious venues that have a government-issued religious activity permit; other gathering places will be shut down. The official claimed that Tieling city has already become a focus of the crackdown on religious house gatherings.
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