Crackdown on unofficial churches comes as Vatican and Beijing sign controversial deal on appointment of bishops

Pastor Jin Mingri has felt firsthand the pain of one of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s harshest crackdowns on religion in years.

Jin’s Zion Church in Beijing, one of the biggest unofficial congregations in the country, was abruptly demolished by authorities this month, who then sent him a bill for 1.2m yuan (£133,000) for the related costs. Jin had preached there every Sunday for decades.

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