House churches in Beijing issued a statement on 23 July expressing their dissatisfaction with the Chinese government. The churches, which include the Beijing Achievement Church and the Beijing Holy Mountain Church, convey three main points in the statement.
The first point detailed the constitutional legitimacy of freedom of belief. Article 33 of the Chinese Constitution states the following: “The State respects and protects human rights.” According to Article 36 of the Constitution: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have freedom of religious belief. No state organ, social group or individual may compel citizens to believe in religion or not to believe in religion and may not discriminate against citizens who believe in religion and do not believe in religious citizens.”
The second point states that “the churches in Christ are different, but they are the same body. There is the same Holy Spirit. In the face of suffering, we support each other and stand side by side and tide over the difficulties.”
The third point of the statement is “We will stick to the truth for the sake of faith.”
The Chinese house church has always adhered to the principles of the Bible, actively participated in the construction of society, even in the face of persecution, and constantly prayed for the country. “We hope that through dialogue, we will make contributions to the relationship between the state and the church in the new era. Since the 1950s, the predecessors of the Chinese house church have offered a fragrant offering to God for their faith. Now, although in a new environment, the church’s position has never changed, and we are willing to attach any price to the Christian faith.”
The Chinese government launched a new version of the Regulations on Religious Affairs on 1 February 2018, and multiple groups, including ChinaAid, believe that Chinese religious freedom is at its lowest point since the Cultural Revolution.