House church pastor and wife fined for church gathering in China
The pastor and his wife at a targeted house church in China’s Xiamen receive a hefty fine from the authorities for having “unauthorised gathering.” China Aid reports that on July 29, Preacher Yang Xibo at Xiamen’s historic Xunsiding Church and his wife Wang Xiaofei received a notice of administrative punishment from the Siming District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau.
In it, the authorities charge them for organising an illegal religious gathering at Liuhong Hall of the Pan Pacific Hotel last April and issue a hefty fine of 100,000 RMB ($15423) to each one of them, totaling 200,000 RMB ($30846). The couple can respond within three days to submit a statement or defend themselves.
Preacher Yang and his wife can also ask for a hearing should they apply within five days of receiving the notice.
Xunsiding Church has been heavily targeted by the Chinese authorities, since Preacher Yang has refused to join the state-vetted Three-Self church and often criticises the government’s violations of religious freedom for Christians.
Their church was first disbanded in May 2019, repeatedly harassed and raided even if they moved the gathering elsewhere. In February, the house church received another administrative punishment for setting up a campus at an office building. On the 17th of April, when they gathered at the Pan Pacific Hotel, dozens of police raided the room and took pictures of all the Christians in attendance.