To conceal the church from the government, the preacher removed all of the church’s religious symbols and changed the sign at the entrance to “Activity Center.” “If they come to conduct an inspection, I’ll just say that this is an activity center and that we’re not holding gatherings anymore,” the preacher hopes not to be found out by the authorities.
A church or a company?
Tightly closed doors and windows, firmly drawn curtains, no cross, a preacher speaking quietly, without a microphone, and the congregation singing hymns as if whispering – this is the new reality for another house church in Xi’an.
One of the church’s believers revealed that to avoid being found out and arrested, the church has been disguised as a company. Now, when the congregation meets, they tell others that they are the company’s customers. The church’s group on the messaging platform WeChat is named as a group for students. Believers avoid using any religion-related images or words and phrases in their posts online, such as Jesus, hallelujah, or thank God. Online donations have been canceled. They split up their gatherings into smaller groups now, with no more than ten people at each meeting. They also assemble early in the morning – between 7 and 8:30 – to evade inspections by the government that are usually conducted later in the day.