ADHRRF – In mainland China, the Gaotieling Town Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security in Hubei Province issued a “Notification on Ban of Illegal Religious Venues” on April 30, 2018, ordering every village to arrange for special personnel to investigate the basic situation of the religious venues, including Catholic and Christian churches. On the afternoon of May 5, a Christian church in Badou Village of Gaotieling Town was sealed up by the Town Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security under the accusation that it was an unregistered church without a permit.
On April 28, the believers of the Christian church in Badou Village were suddenly examined by the authorities at a congregation. They were not only taken photos, but also required to only attend meetings in the registered churches, which have a permit from the government. Sun, the leader of the church, explained that they had already paid money and applied for a permit. However, the investigators insisted that this church didn’t get a permit.
On May 6, some church members found a seal on the door of this church, stamped with Gaotieling Town Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security.
It is learned that when the church was closed down, the authorities did not inform Sun, the person in charge of the church. After hearing the news of closure, Sun said angrily: “The church was closed down. Even if we don’t have a place to gather, we will still believe in God at home.”
Another source revealed that Liu, the party secretary of Badou village, once requested Sun to remove the church’s cross and said that it’s the national policy that requires the closure of the church. At that time Sun vigorously rejected his request. At 12 o’clock on the afternoon of April 23, no one was in the church, and Liu took the opportunity to smash the cross. Later, he admitted this personally and threatened Sun that the government will interfere in the church gatherings unless they register and apply for a permit.