Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: June 14, 2018
Bitter Winter has just received information about events surrounding the arrest of almost 20 members of a house church in the Dadong District of the city of Shenyang, which the police raided in January this year.
At around 10 a.m. on January 18, about 20 believers gathered in a rented house when ten officers in plainclothes swarmed in and without showing any identification, ordered the people to squat down with their hands on their heads. One of the officers filmed the believers and took their photos of the believers. The officers were forcing the believers to reveal the persons in charge of the church. One person who claimed to be with the Bureau of Religious Affairs read aloud the “Regulations on Religious Affairs,” which treats as unsanctioned and illegal any gathering of more than three people. The police then confiscated all religious literature as well as the believers’ notebooks, arrested three people in charge of the church as well as six other believers, and took them to the police station. The remaining believers were held in the house. After registering personal information such as their names, identification and phone numbers, the police released them around 2 p.m. that day warning not to hold any more religious meetings under the threat of arrest. The nine people who had been arrested were not released until 5 p.m. that day.
The police raids and arrests in house churches take a great mental and physical toll on the believers. The police collect their personal information, which means they will be subjected to long-term monitoring and control by the Chinese Communist Party and face arrests again at any time in the future.