Yu Bing | ChinaAid
Xiamen, Fujian Province — On August 28, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials from Xiamen City Siming District Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs delivered an Exigent Notice of Administrative Penalty Enforcement to Yang Xibo, minister of Xunsiding Church, a renowned house church in Xiamen. This notice requires Minister Yang to pay a fine of 25,000 yuan (3,865.06 United States Dollars ), plus an additional penalty of 25,000 yuan— a total of 50,000 yuan (7,730.13 United States Dollars).
CCP Xiamen City Siming District Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs authorities initially issued the administrative penalty decision with the 25,000 yuan fine for Minister Yang on May 31, 2019. He had used 5 Xunsiding as a religious premise named “Xunsiding Church” without obtaining Registration Certificate of Place for Religious Events. Afterward Minister Yang applied for an administrative review. In the Siming District Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs decision regarding Minister Yang’s requested administrative review, officials determined to uphold the original penalty decision. Minister Yang then filed an administrative complaint to Siming District People’s Court. The court rejected his complaint without relevant reasons.
The Exigent Notice of Administrative Penalty Enforcement Minister Yang received August 28 states:
We the bureau urge the litigant to fulfill the following obligations in accordance with Administrative Coercion Law of People’s Republic China, Article 54:
1. pay the fine: RMB 25,000 yuan
2. extra fine: RMB 25,000 yuan (the formula: 3% of the fine per day starting the due date of the original fine)
The fine totals RMB 50,000 yuan.
In addition, the exigent notice requires that Minister Yang fills out the General Payment Form at his bank where he has an account and make the payment to Xiamen City Siming District Bureau of Finance within 10 days from the day he received the notice.
Furthermore, the exigent notice states that according to Administrative Coercion Law, Article 36, Minister Yang has the right to state and defend [himself] and may submit the application to … the bureau within three days from the day he received the exigent notice. Otherwise, the court deems that as he abandons the right mentioned above. We, the bureau, will ask the People’s Court to enforce it forcibly in accordance with Administrative Coercion Law, Article 37 Clause 1.
As Xunsiding Church, the largest house church in Xiamen, holds fast to the stance of house churches in Fujian Province, Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs officials have targeted and heavily oppressed members. On May 19, 2019, authorities illegally shut down Xunsiding Church, as well as church campuses. The CCP dispatched a large number of police to 5 Xunsiding to monitor attendees, and raid the church on Sundays. During raids, police:
- beat and arrested congregants,
- demolished a congregant’s private property, and
- forced congregants to send their children to public schools, etc.
When the CCP’s series of persecution measures did not help the State to achieve its goal of dissolving the church, authorities initiated and inflicted the administrative penalty. Earlier this year, on July 29, after Minister Yang, and his wife—Wang Xiaofei continued to hold worship services, CCP Xiamen City Siming District Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs authorities issued an administrative penalty notice with a 100,000 yuan fine [for each person]. Nevertheless, Minister Yang and his wife continued to hold worship services. The next day, Minister Yang and Mrs. Wang submitted an application for an administrative penalty hearing to Xiamen City Siming District Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs.