House Church Pastor and Wife Facing Charges for Homeschooling Their Children in China’s Fujian Province

A room that used to house Sunday School classes is pictured at a church in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, China December 18, 2017. | (Photo: REUTERS/Christian Shepherd)

A court in China’s southern Fujian province has summoned a house church preacher and his wife for not sending his children to public school and homeschooling them, according to a watchdog.

Preacher You Guanda of Dianqian Church in Xiamen city and his wife have been asked to report to Shaowu Court on the morning of Sept. 23, according to the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern.

They were charged with “custody disputes” by the local government, ICC said.

Dianqian Church, which is a house church that follows the Reformed tradition, has been facing harassment from the provincial government for the last few years. Dianqian is the name of the village the church is situated in.

Last June, local communist authorities disbanded the house church after the preacher and other members purchased a new property for residence, homeschooling and worship. It was forcibly demolished this year.

The church leadership said last year that the government had long been monitoring the church’s activities, according to China Aid, a U.S.-based group that exposes abuses, helps the persecuted and promotes religious freedom, human rights and rule of law. “Some (church leaders and members) have been required to speak to police and other officials. Others experienced illegal treatment.”

Last March, China’s Ministry of Education urged authorities nationwide to deter nontraditional educational institutions from operating, and threatened to punish parents who send their children to such facilities, the magazine Sixth Tone reported earlier.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar