Chinese Christian mother taken to court over school decision

BEIHAI, Guangxi — A Chinese Christian mother has been taken to court for refusing to put her child into the country’s public education system, opting instead for home or Christian school.

Officials have threatened to end Fan Ruzhen’s government subsistence if she does not comply.

The government brought the case against Ruzhen in September 2019. She appeared in court in December 2019. Statements from five teachers supported Christian education as an option.

Two days later, the judge told Ruzhen and the officials to reach a settlement, but the government has continued to pursue the case. Ruzhen’s most recent court appearance was on March 16, 2020, in Yintai District Court in Beihai.

Chinese law requires nine years of education, and home-schooling is banned for Chinese citizens.

China ranks No. 23 on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.