China (MNN) — China's government-recognized church
organizations say they are willing to support the country's house churches by
providing them with Bibles. Yet a recent
scenario tells a completely different story.
Katherine Cason with China Aid Association shared this information about a case they've
been following. "This story comes from a Christian house church leader
named Mrs. Cheng Fengying. Her house was seized illegally. Her accusation is
that the government, in collusion with the TSPM, has seized her house; not only
that, but for a number of years, they persecuted her and her house church."
Cheng Fengying sent the following letter on February 17, 2009:
My name is Chang Fengying and I am 54 years old. My husband's name
is Xie Tongxing, and he was a native of Guangming Village, Fulu Township, Muling
City, Heilongjiang province. Both my husband and I were disabled in our
childhood years. I gave myself to the Lord and became a Christian in 1990. I
went to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement church between 1990 and 2003, then I
came to see the true nature of the TSPM.
I left the TSPM and began to meet in house churches. In July 2006, the
TSPM church of Muling City colluded with the government. They worked in
cooperation with the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), the
Public Security Bureau and the head of Guangming Village, and came to put
sealing tape on my house and to forbid us to meet at my house. The TSPM also
sent groups of thugs to raid my house again and again in which they looted,
beat up people, and smashed our belongings.
I called 110 (the equivalent to 911 in the U.S.), and the police wouldn't
intervene. With no other alternatives, I went to Beijing and sued the
authorities there. During the consecutive lawsuits, my husband was so scared
that he died…. Soon after my husband passed away, the TSPM colluded again
with the government on July 3, 2007 and canceled my house ownership title
through illegal means.
During the 2008 Olympic Games, I was detained in a black prison (prison
cells privately established by government officials) where I was injured in my
arms. In January 2009, the TSPM took away my housing property by making
use of the court. During this time, we could not have normal meetings. In the
meantime, my family was so persecuted by the TSPM and the government that it is
ruined with death and misery. My child has fled from the persecution, and there
is no way for him to come back home.
I hereby implore my brothers and sisters around the world to pray for me
and show concern for me. I also implore the Lord to protect my family so that
we can still hold gatherings. I implore the Lord to enable the court to rule on
a fair basis and hope that legal professionals can assist me in this case.
Your humble fellow Christian,
Sadly, Cason says Fengying's situation is not unusual.
In fact, the harassment against the house church movement is
becoming the norm. What should you do
about it? "Pray for justice for boldness in faith for the believers there
who are undergoing such trials. Also, just speak out to authorities. Speak out
for those who don't have a voice."
ChinaAid also asks the international community to petition
the Chinese government to immediately return of Chang Fengying's house to her
rightful ownership, and to stop persecuting her family and their house church
members. Click here for details.