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Communist government exerts pre-Olympic pressure on Chinese house churches

 

MIDLAND, TX (BP) — China’s communist government is exerting more pressure against unregistered house churches as the country prepares for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

On Sept. 5, the capital city’s Public Security Bureau issued a public notice to all landlords that they should refuse to rent property to “five types of prospective tenants,” including people accused of engaging in “illegal religious activities,” according to China Aid Association, a Midland, Texas, organization that advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians in China.

The notice, released through the Beijing Evening News, said police officers are being organized for an “intensive inspection” of rental properties to ensure compliance with the law. The possibility of facing charges for renting to a house church would intimidate landowners into forcing Christian tenants out.

“House churches in Beijing are being pressured to stop gathering or to leave Beijing,” said CAA founder Bob Fu. “This is clearly a new tactic to persecute house churches before 2008 Beijing Olympics is held.”