Faith

Christian Students in China Barred From Going to College Unless They Stop Going to Church

In this photo taken July 16, 2014, members of Yayu Christian Church gather in a hall during their turns to protect the rooftop cross from being demolished at the church in Yaxia village, Pingyang county in Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province. Across Zhejiang province, which hugs China’s rocky southeastern coast, authorities have toppled, or threatened to topple, crosses at more than 130 churches. (AP Photo/Didi Tang)

In this photo taken July 16, 2014, members of Yayu Christian Church gather in a hall during their turns to protect the rooftop cross from being demolished at the church in Yaxia village, Pingyang county in Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province. Across Zhejiang province, which hugs China‚Äôs rocky southeastern coast, authorities have toppled, or threatened to topple, crosses at more than 130 churches. (AP Photo/Didi Tang)  (The Associated Press)

Chinese students attending a Christian house church in the central Guizhou province are being threatened by government authorities who are warning them that if they don't stop going to the church, they will be barred from going to college.

"This notice was sent to all of the schools in Huaqiu," explained Mou, the person that human-rights advocacy group China Aid said was in charge of Huaqiu Church. "They (public security) intend to cleanse us and ask us to join the Three-Self Church."

The house church members have also reportedly been pressured into signing a document vowing that they will not take minors into the church. Additionally, parents have been told that they will be sued if they bring their children to church, while the children themselves will not be allowed to take the college entrance exam or be admitted into the army.

House churches in China face regular crackdowns from the Communist Party, which fears the rise of Christianity in the world's most populous nation, with followers of Christ outnumbering members of the Party.

Even state-run churches have faced religious freedom challenges in the past couple of years, with an ongoing-campaign continuing to tear down church buildings and church rooftop-crosses over alleged building code violations in several Chinese provinces. Protests from Christian pastors and church members have led to hundreds of arrests.

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