Chinese officials terminate old-age assistance for Christians
Government officials in China’s central Guizhou province announced last month that all welfare benefits will be terminated for elderly Christians who refuse to sign a form declaring that they will stop attending local church services.
Mou, a house church member, told China Aid, “[Officials verbally] announced on July 2 that Christians could not have welfare or any old-age insurance … Now, the county [government] called on the government in the towns and villages to order believers to sign [a guarantee], stating that if they gathered again, their welfare would be cut off.”
Unfortunately, this kind of persecution is not unique to the Guizhou province. This kind of pressure is reminiscent of an ongoing persecution case in China’s inland Sichuan province. On Sept. 28, 2014, 36 Miao Christians, an ethnic minority in China, were detained and then individually released 5-11 days afterward. Since that time, the government interrupted their welfare payments.
Zhang Shucai, a member of one of the affected Miao churches, said, “Not long ago, I went back to my hometown and asked my parents about [the welfare payment cancellation]. They told me that they still hadn’t received their welfare. [Authorities] only arrested my mother last time, but they canceled the [welfare] of [both of my parents]. ”
When asked if the church members plan to take legal action, Zhang replied that many of the Miao Christians do not know how to defend their rights.
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