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Shouwang Church

Shouwang Church, established by Pastor Jin Tianming in Beijing in 1993, has been the target of government persecution since May 2008, when the government began to “rectify society” before the Olympic Games.

The next year, the church’s landlord gave into official pressure and evicted Shouwang Church. In 2009, the church held two outdoor services in Haidan Park on Nov. 1 and Nov. 8, after which authorities allowed the church to resume indoor activities. However, the reprieve didn’t last. Following the church’s Dec. 22 purchase of a 16,145-square foot floor of the Zhongguancun Daheng Technology Building in Beijing for 27 million Yuan (U.S. $4.3 million), authorities pressured the space’s seller to keep the keys to the meeting place from Shouwang Church without explanation. [Read More] [Connect with Shouwang on Facebook]


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Outdoor church services to encourage persecuted Christians

Christian Today April 3, 2012

Release International is inviting churches to hold an open-air service next month in solidarity with Christians around the world who are forced to meet outside because of state interference.
Christians in parts of China, Indonesia and central Asia have been barred from meeting indoors because their church buildings were closed down by the authorities.
Shouwang Church, one of Beijing’s largest house churches, has been meeting outside for a year after the authorities refused to register the church. Churchgoers are routinely arrested as they hold services outside.

A church spokesman said: "Even though we’ve been through months of battles and are feeling tired in body and soul, our desire to worship God is unchanged."

In Indonesia, the Filadelfia Batak church, near Jakarta has been worshipping outside since mass protests by Islamist hardliners led to its closure. The Yasmin Protestant church of West Java has also had to worship in the open air after the mayor opposed construction plans.

Churches in Britain are being asked to take part in the Great Outdoors Church Service on 20 or 27 May.
"Would you be willing to worship in the open air in all weathers if the authorities closed down your church?" said Release chief executive Andy Dipper.
"And would you be prepared to risk arrest – every single week – just for gathering to praise God together?

"To show our support for these persecuted Christians we are inviting churches throughout the UK and Ireland to stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters by holding a Sunday meeting outdoors."
Although it may be too difficult for some churches to meet in the open air, Mr Dipper encouraged Christians in Britain to join in praying for those denied the freedom to worship indoors.

"Please pray that these courageous Christians would continue to be strong in the Lord; that they would know divine wisdom in how to relate to the authorities and respond with grace to those who oppose them.

"Pray that they would know God’s presence as they meet outdoors and that their witness would speak strongly to the authorities of God’s great love."

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/outdoor.church.services.to.encourage.persecuted.christians/29588.htm
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shouwang Ranked 6 in Top 10 stories of Christian persecution in 2011 by Compass Direct News

Read full article: http://canadianchristianity.com/author/compass-direct-news/

6 – Shouwang Church Members Arrested Weekly in China

One of the largest unregistered Protestant churches in Beijing was subjected to weekly arrests when it began worshipping outdoors on April 10, after authorities pressured landlords to keep them out of their purchased and rented properties. Leaders of the 1,000-member church said the landlord of their venue had been under mounting pressure from authorities to terminate the lease, and the government also prevented the church from using the premises it had purchased in late 2009. Shouwang had paid 27 million yuan, or about US$4 million, for the second floor of the Daheng Science and Technology Tower in northwest Beijing’s Zhongguancun area. Authorities interfered, and the property developer refused to hand the key over to the church.

The members of the church’s governing committee, two pastors and three elders, and other major co-workers have been under house arrest for the whole or much of the time since April 9. Hundreds of other people, including many Shouwang parishioners and some members of other churches in Beijing and other cities, were detained for between a few hours to two days.

The church was unwilling to be subject to the controls and restrictions of the official Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), as it disagrees with TSPM beliefs and controls. Many unregistered evangelical Protestant groups refuse to register with TSPM due to theological differences, fear of adverse consequences if they reveal names and addresses of church leaders or members or fear that it will control sermon content.

Shouwang signed a rental contract with a new landlord on Dec. 17, but the landlord terminated the contract due to pressure from “the local police station, the housing management office and leaders of various government agencies,” church leaders announced to members on Dec. 23. Church leaders had arranged to have an indoor meeting on Sunday (Jan. 1) in a room leased from the Beijing Parkview Wuzhou Hotel on Dec. 17, but due to police interference and the cancellation of the lease, they continued meeting outdoors for services – with the arrests also continuing.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas marked by hostility for many Christians

Christian Today/ Jan 6, 2012
Christmas 2011 was not so much a time of peace and joy but violence and hostility for many Christians around the world, the international director of Barnabas Fund has said.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is asking Christians to pray for believers who experienced attacks, intimidation or detention during the festive season.

Christmas Day attacks on churches in Nigeria killed at least 50 people. Islamic militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were condemned by the international community and reported widely in the media.

Lesser known acts of violence over Christmas include an acid attack on a church leader in Uganda. Umar Mulinde had acid thrown in his face outside his church in Kampala on Christmas Eve, causing severe burns to the right side of his face, neck and arms.
It is believed that Mulinde, a former Muslim sheikh, was attacked because of his conversion and open stand against the introduction of Kadhi – or Sharia – courts in Uganda.

In India, around 20 Hindu extremists attacked Christians in Karnataka State as they gathered for a meal on Christmas Day.
The attackers forced their way into the home where the meal was being held and started to beat up the group of Christians, which included women and children.

According to Barnabas Fund, some of the victims were seriously wounded.

In Kandhamal, in Orissa State, the home of a young Christian couple was burned down on Christmas Eve as they attended a Christmas celebration in their village.
In Mangalore, a nativity scene was set on fire, and in Karnataka, a prayer hall was damaged by extremists.

Barnabas Fund has received reports of disruptions to church services in China. In Langzhong city, dozens of police officers broke up an unofficial Christmas Day service being held in a public square.
Police reportedly fired tear gas at the worshippers and detained three of them.

In Beijing, more than 30 members of Shouwang Church were detained by police for taking part in a public Christmas gathering.

The church made international headlines last year after more than 100 members were detained when it tried to hold open-air services.

Authorities also detained around 50 members of unregistered churches in Dongyang, in Zhejiang Province, as they met to plan their Christmas gathering. The pastor and his son were reportedly beaten by the authorities.

In Iran, authorities raided a Christmas service in Ahwaz. They rounded up the congregation, which included children attending the Sunday school, and detained them. Many of the group were interrogated before being released but the senior pastor, his wife and two other church leaders were taken into custody.
Although the pastor’s wife has since been released, there has been no news of the other three. The children were said to have been left severely distressed by the incident.

International Director of Barnabas Fund, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, said: “Once again, for many Christians around the world, the Christmas season has been a time not of peace and joy but of violence and hostility.”
He called upon Christians to pray especially for believers in northern Nigeria.

“Boko Haram's track record of violence makes it all too likely that they will follow up this threat with a religious cleansing of the North,” he said.

“Please pray urgently for the protection of Christians in Northern Nigeria at this time.”

http://in.christiantoday.com/articles/christmas-marked-by-hostility-for-many-christians/6939.htm
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

48 Chinese Christians detained New Year's Day

BEIJING (Baptist Press Jan 3 2012) -- Beijing authorities detained 48 members of a large persecuted house church on New Year's Day, marking a total of more than 1,000 church members who have been taken into police custody during the church's 38 weeks of attempting to hold outdoor worship services.
"By arbitrarily detaining peaceful religious believers in the capital city on the first day of 2012, Beijing authorities show that they are determined to continue their crackdown on independent religious groups in the coming year," Bob Fu, president of China Aid, said.

"In defiance of universal values and in violation of its own laws and constitution, which guarantees religious freedom, China's communist leaders are walking further down the road of the wrong side of history," said Fu, a former Beijing house pastor who was imprisoned for his beliefs.
Among those taken into custody Jan. 1, 30 were believed to have been released by 10 p.m. and the remainder were held overnight at various police stations across the city, China Aid said. Many other church members had been kept under house arrest beginning Friday, the watchdog group said.
Shouwang Church began meeting outdoors in April after being evicted from its rented meeting space and after authorities prevented the church from gathering in a portion of an office building it had purchased.
The church tried three times to rent three different venues, but Beijing authorities have ordered landlords not to rent to them, China Aid said. 
Police arrest the Christians before the services even start and typically free them within 24 hours. China's Domestic Security Protection Squad has maintained constant surveillance outside the homes of senior church leaders, while police have camped outside the doors of other church members from Saturday night until noon Sunday, when service times technically are over, according to China Aid.
Compass Direct News Service reported that early on Christmas morning church members arrived at a public square only to find it heavily guarded with industrial-strength rails blocking access. Police arrested 41 believers who attempted to worship at the site that day, Compass said.
On the church's Facebook page, one church member said Christians who were detained indoors usually felt sorry for those waiting outside in the cold as they were able to "read books and have fellowship in a warm room," Compass reported.
The Facebook post explained that the believer was interrogated on Christmas Day with an officer taunting him for being afraid to give his home address and threatening to hold him long enough for the man to lose his job, Compass said.
Despite the ongoing persecution and winter weather, Shouwang Church leaders say they plan to continue meeting outdoors until a solution is reached.
--30--
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Erin Roach.
http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=36879
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Chinese Authorities Again Deny Facility to Shouwang Church

By Compass Direct News Jan 03, 2012
Authorities in China again thwarted efforts by Shouwang Church to lease a worship facility at the year’s end, and the Beijing congregation again met outdoors on Sunday (Jan. 1) – resulting in the arrest of 48 members, sources said.

“The church tried three times to rent thee different venues, but it was all to no avail because of the authorities’ intervention,” a source close to the church told Compass. “On Dec. 17, Shouwang signed a rental contract with a landlord for its new indoor worship venue. Two days later, the church’s books and some other belongings were moved into the new rented space.”

In the days that followed, however, the landlord terminated the contract due to pressure from “the local police station, the housing management office and leaders of various government agencies,” church leaders announced to members on Dec. 23.


Church leaders had initially arranged to have an indoor meeting on Sunday (Jan. 1) in a room they had leased from the Beijing Parkview Wuzhou Hotel on Dec. 17, according to a post on Shouwang’s Facebook page. But due to police interference and the cancellation of the lease, they moved to Plan B – a continuation of the outdoor worship services held every Sunday since April 10.

Shouwang began meeting outdoors last year after authorities blocked their attempts to rent worship venues or use a building they had purchased. Church leaders had hoped the situation would change early in the new year.

“The outdoor worship service has come to an end,” Shouwang had announced on its Facebook page. “We first want to offer our thanksgiving to God … We also pray that God will continue to open a way for us.”

The post also described how the church had recently signed three leases with landlords in Zhongguancun, the area where the church has worshiped since it was founded, but that all three were revoked.

New Year Arrests

Police detained at least 48 church members who gathered for outdoor worship on Sunday (Jan. 1), releasing 40 of them by midnight, Shouwang’s governing committee stated on its Facebook page.

Early on the morning of Dec. 25, church members had arrived at Zhongguancun square only to find it heavily guarded with industrial-strength rails blocking access, the committee reported. Police arrested 41 Christians who attempted to worship at the square, releasing all but one by midnight. The final detainee was released at 3 p.m. on Dec. 26.

During the 38 weeks of outdoor worship in 2011, police detained almost 1,000 church members and held many more under house arrest, according to the committee.

One church member who shared his testimony on the Facebook page on Dec. 26 said that the Christians detained indoors usually felt sorry for those waiting outside in the cold as they were able to “read books and have fellowship in a warm room.” But on Christmas Day an officer interrogated him, taunting him for being afraid to give his home address and threatening to “hold you for more than 10 days so that you will lose your job. I will find out where you live and force you to move.”

“As for my job, no one can fire me if God does not allow it,” the church member wrote. He also advised other church members, “How long they detain you has nothing to do with whether you cooperate with them or not, just as God’s love for you has nothing to do with what you do. So do not be afraid, and be brave in speaking out as the Holy Spirit guides you.”

His advice was timely as Shouwang church plans to continue meeting outdoors until a more permanent solution is found, and officials seem just as determined to stop them.

“By arbitrarily detaining peaceful religious believers in the capital city on the first day of 2012, Beijing authorities show that they are determined to continue their crackdown on independent religious groups in the coming year,” China Aid Association President Bob Fu stated on Sunday (Jan. 1).

http://www.christianpost.com/news/chinese-authorities-again-deny-facility-to-shouwang-church-66275/
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011