Following harassment from local police and ongoing raids, a landlord in China's southern Guangdong province was forced to terminate his contract with a house church.
According to a report from persecution watchdog China Aid, the home of a member of Renyi Church was searched shortly before authorities raided the church's building, confiscating Bibles and other religious materials.
"They went into his home and took away all of his personal books. Everything that his relatives sent to him was intercepted by the police. When he went to pick up packages, the public security bureau took him and his things away. They also entered his church and took away the projector and other items," an anonymous Christian told the organizations.
Communist authorities also continued to harass the church's landlord, finally driving him to terminate his contract with the church members.
"They constantly pressured him," the anonymous man said. "The landlord couldn't bear it and just made [the church] leave. Now, they moved outside. For more than a year, the officials pressured the landlord constantly. Now, he has fallen apart."
Another church in China's southern Guangdong province recently experienced similar persecution at the hands of government officials; in June, members of the local Public Security Comprehensive Management Commission placed a seal over the doors to Taihe County branch of Guangfu Church, also known as Taihe Hall, and cut off power and water to the building.
Government officials claimed the church was shut down because the landlord of the building did not have the proper certificates. However, over the past year, government officials have repeatedly pressured the landlord to terminate the church's ten-year contract prematurely and evict the congregation without cause.
The church's closure is only one of the latest in the government's attempts to clamp down on Christianity as the Communist Party grows increasingly suspicious of the influence of Christianity, which is experiencing significant growth in the country.
Over the past year, up to 1,700 churches have been demolished or had their crosses removed in Zhejiang alone province, and a significant number of pastors and human rights lawyers have been arrested and imprisoned.
Nevertheless, China Aid president Bob Fu told The Gospel Herald he is "more optimistic than ever" that the Gospel will continue to impact the country in a tremendous way, citing a Purdue University study that found the country is on course to become the world's "most Christian nation" by 2030.
"While we still feel the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters in China, we have seen the Good News spark the rapid growth of Christianity," he said. "We have seen a great revival - more and more believers are becoming actively involved. I believe that in the end, the Communist Party will be called the 'Servant of the Lord.'"