The Chinese government has recently been acting with markedly greater impunity against Christians.
The draconian fine imposed on Niu Guobao for celebrating Christmas threatens all the Christians of the country, including the tiny community of Orthodox Christians in China, as reported by christianpersecution.com.
The incident took place in Huang Zhang Liang village in Lushan county, Henan. It was, admittedly, a large gathering for the village, as they gathered more than forty Christians, including twenty children, to pray and sing hymns.
The police raided the home and told Niu, the man who organised the gathering, that he had organized an illegal religious gathering under Article 71 of the Regulation of Religious Affairs.
They suspected he had not been authorized by any Three-Self church but, even if he had, Christmas gatherings this year were submitted to ten or more different levels of authorizations.
Niu had also involved minors in religious activities, which is totally forbidden in China, even when meetings are otherwise authorized. The police also found Christian calendars for the year 2021 and other unauthorized religious books Niu planned to distribute.
Last week, less than one month after the event, he had to appear before the Lushan County Religious Affairs Bureau, and was fined 160,000 yuan (i.e., US $ 24,693, or EUR 20,282).