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In a disturbing new development in the 12-week long clash between the Chinese Communist Party and members of Beijing’s 1,000-member Shouwang Church, the Chinese government is pressuring employers to fire church members from their jobs.

According to the China Aid Association, an advocacy group based in New York:

“In the 12 weeks since Shouwang Church lost its meeting site and decided to hold its Sunday worship services outdoors, Chinese authorities have tried many different ways to try to get the church members to desist. These have included police detention, house arrest, eviction, loss of jobs, and being forced to move out of Beijing.”

China Aid reported that Xia Xiaoqiu, a Shouwang Church member employed by the U.S.-based Christian humanitarian group World Vision, wrote on the social media site Google Buzz:

“With regard to the job, I’ve already had several rounds of talks with my boss. Each side has already made clear what can be made clear. My boss said that my activities cannot be allowed to impact the organization’s development [in China], and those in the managerial level are all in agreement about this. The only thing left now is to await their decision …” 

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