Shouwang Church, one of China's largest "house churches," continues to refuse official registration in spite of increasing pressure from the Chinese government.
Located in Beijing, members of Shouwang have been meeting outdoors on Sunday mornings for 17 months–and say they will continue to do so until they receive official permission to return to an indoor location. Yet, the government has been ramping up efforts to dissuade church leaders, including a 500-day house arrest for senior pastor Jin Tianming.
The review, dated Sept. 14, concludes that the government's actions "all clearly demonstrate that the respondent (government) is suppressing the religious freedom granted by the Constitution to every citizen and the right of Christian churches to practice their religious faith, all of which constitutes religious persecution."
The South China Morning Post reports that the legal affairs office of the Beijing government has rejected the petition.
CT previously covered Shouwang when it originally began to meet outside and revisited the issue 15 weeks into the protest. CT also noted a related debate over whether the U.S. ambassador to China should worship at a house church.