The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has ultimate control over church affairs, says a church member in Linfen, Shanxi province.
Christians and ethnic minorities in China have been witnessing Beijing's heavy-handed rule. For years, nationwide crackdown on churches has been continuing by the Beijing authorities.
For years, nationwide crackdown on churches has been continuing by the Beijing authorities.
According to a report published by the Barnabanfund, the new Template for a Charter of Legal Persons in Religious Activity Venues, which came into effect in April 2019, demands that all religious venues establish a "democratic management committee" consisting of "clergy members, representatives of religious citizens, and other relevant members".
The "other relevant members" section allows the CCP officials to become committee members and have reins over the decisions.
In Henan's Yuzhou city, the government officials had appointed on of its supporting preachers as the director. It was because he fulfilled the criteria of "proactive cooperation with the government."
"If we don't follow the Template, our church will be shut down," a clergy member from a "three-self" church in Tengzhou, Shandong province was quoted as saying.
Till now, hundreds of "house churches" (unregistered congregations) and "three-self" churches have been forcibly shut down. The Beijing authorities have used repressive measures like violent police raids, thousands of arrests and detentions, imprisonment of pastors, and forced installation of surveillance cameras inside some churches, Barnabanfund reported.
( With inputs from ANI )