Fear of uprising may affect Easter celebration in China

April 18th, 2011 - 5:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, Apr 18 (ANI): Many Christians in China have expressed concern about the country’s house church leaders’ decision to hold another outdoor service on Easter Sunday.

Recently, Beijing police detained nearly 50 church members, including its two pastors from a house church-one not formally recognized by the Government, as they tried to hold services in a public space after they were evicted from their usual place of worship.

The leaders of the Shouwang Church, one of the largest house churches, said they would practice their prayers outdoors again on Easter Sunday unless they are given permission to celebrate the mass indoors at their usual premises.

Meanwhile, the leader of another prominent Beijing house church said he has been under regular surveillance and an off-and-on informal house arrest for most of the past two months, The Globe and Mail reports.

Only officially sanctioned churches are considered legal in China. In practice, however, semi-underground “house churches” have been widely tolerated and allowed to flourish in recent years.

The house church movement now has an estimated 60 million members, compared with 20 million who belong to the official organizations. (ANI)

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