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Fang-Cheng church


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A Christian house church in China, persecuted for not operating within China's official religion policies.

China is increasingly using anti-cult laws tightened last year during a crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement to target other groups, including underground churches and meditation groups that officials view as threats.

The Fangcheng church is one of scores of clandestine Christian communities known as house churches because they are unable to worship in public. The officially atheistic communist government forbids worship outside state-sanctioned churches.

Fangcheng Church is one of many evangelical church movements in China that operate in defiance of government restrictions on worship outside state-controlled churches.
Missionary's Ordeal in China, The San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 29, 2000

Although China's constitution enshrines freedom of religion, worship is banned outside official state-sponsored religious organizations.

But millions of Christians meet secretly in prayer groups, for bible study sessions and services in home-based churches.
(...)

The Fang-cheng church ran afoul of China's Communist rulers last year for its affiliation with overseas Christians and its refusal to join the state church, according to the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy.
U.S. Missionary Urges China to Free Christians, Inside China Today/Reuters, Aug. 30, 2000

Lan, who returned to the Bay Area during the weekend, was one of three Americans arrested with 127 Chinese citizens last week in a government raid on the underground Fangcheng Church movement in central China.
(...)

Chinese authorities said Lin and her South Bay brethren were arrested and deported for ''activities incompatible with the tourist status under which they entered China.''

They said the Fangcheng Church members were arrested for belonging to an ''evil cult,'' the same label the government used in its campaign against the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Chinese Agape Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Cupertino is one of four Chinese evangelical churches in the Bay Area that are part of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, a fast-growing network of Pentecostal congregations that grew out of the countercultural ''Jesus Freak'' movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Lan's Cupertino pastor, who asked that his name not be used, said his church has been sending small teams of missionaries to China since 1994.
Missionary's Ordeal in China, The San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 29, 2000

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Items added after August, 2002:
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