According to a report, a Christian pastor and his spouse who operated a house church in China have had their penalties increased, according to a report by ChinaAid, a Christian organization that focuses on persecution in China.
Xiamen is in southeast China, and Pastor Yang Xibo and his spouse Wang Xiaofei lead the Xunsiding Church there. The Three-Self Church, which oversees China’s state-controlled Protestant churches, does not recognize Xunsiding. Hence it is considered an “underground” church. The preacher and his wife must pay a punishment of $55,000.
In May 2019, Xunsiding, the biggest house congregation in Xiamen, was fined about $3,400. According to ChinaAid, once the government issued the punishment, police were sent to the site. For a whole month, authorities allegedly surrounded the church and frequently monitored the congregation.
The watchdog claims that Pastor and his wife’s pleas to Communist Party administrators have been repeatedly denied since 2021. An administrative lawsuit has mandated that the Pastor and his wife each pay $25,000, according to ChinaAid.
One of the charges against them is coordinating illegal gatherings.
The total amount of penalties reportedly surpassed $50,000 on June 28. Yang and his wife publicly said they would not be paying the monetary penalty.
The Gospel Coalition reports that the official Three-Self Church is restricted and regulated by the state.
House churches have gained popularity in China. Churches that aren’t part of the Three-Self Church’s official network meet in secret or revolving sites.
According to the Christian organization OpenDoorsUSA, Christians in China have faced severe persecution for many years. A “World Watch List” detailing the top 50 nations where Christian persecution is most severe is published yearly by Open Doors USA, dedicated to aiding persecuted Christians.
The worst levels of persecution in history may once again be seen in North Korea. As a result of the new “anti-reactionary thought law,” the number of arrests of Christians and the discovery and closure of house churches skyrocketed, bringing the score to a record high of 98.