UCA News is reporting that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has sentenced a female pastor of a house church in Hubei province to eight years in prison for refusing to join the CCP controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement for protestant churches.
The CCP arrested Hao Zhiwei, 51, in 2019 charging her with ‘fraud for preaching the Gospel.’ The fraud charge is related to Zhiwei receiving offerings from her parishioners through a non-state-approved church.
According to UCA News, a Roman Catholic news site, it was the first time that the CCP has sentenced a house church pastor to prison for fraud.
UCA News stated that the CCP is increasingly using financial charges to crack down on the growing house church movement in Communist China.
UCA News adds:
“Besides charges of fraud, the authorities have exploited other trumped-up charges to implicate preachers and pastors such as “illegal business operations,” “inciting subversion of state power” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”
After authorities ordered the demolition of Pastor Zhiwei’s church building in 2018, when it refused to join the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the church reformed as a house church.
The CCP not only controls who can pastor churches that are part of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, it also dictates what is being taught.
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The state-controlled churches are also required to use the CCP’s state-approved version of the Bible. READ: China’s Communist Government Is Reportedly Rewriting the Bible and Calling Jesus a ‘Sinner.’ But That’s Not All…