Fined For Bible Studies
This is the kind of thing that makes me glad I left California years ago.
An Orange County couple has been ordered to stop holding a Bible study in their home on the grounds that the meeting violates a city ordinance as a “church” and not as a private gathering.
Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called “a regular gathering of more than three people”.
That type of meeting would require a conditional use permit as defined by the city, according to Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the couple’s legal representation.
The Fromms also reportedly face subsequent fines of $500 per meeting for any further “religious gatherings” in their home, according to PJI.
This sounds uncomfortably close to this:
In December 2010, Chinese authorities launched a crackdown on unregistered house churches. Members of the CCP Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Social Order were told to collect information about house churches and turn these reports in to their superiors. A “blacklist” of church leaders and influential believers was reportedly drawn up. According to one Chinese newspaper, the Chinese government is tightening regulations on Christian worship in 2011, with the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) announcing that it will “guide Protestants worshiping at unregistered churches into worshiping at government-sanctioned ones.”
You be the judge.