A resident of Anhui was harassed by law enforcement officers, and his house was later destroyed because he had hosted a religious gathering.
In August 2015, nearly 500 believers of the Apostolic Church were meeting at Cheng Deyi’s (pseudonym) house in Anhui’s Tongcheng city. It was the first time that the man in his 70s had hosted the believers at his house, but even then, someone managed to report the meeting to the police anonymously.
The local government mobilized over 60 fully armed police officers and showed up at Mr. Cheng’s house. He was immediately taken to the police station, where he was forced to choose between his house and his welfare allowances. Since his son passed away years ago and he was unable to work, Mr. Cheng ended up choosing the latter.
That meant, his house would be demolished. The police sent in an excavator to do the job. However, four elderly believers stepped forth to stop the demolition but were pushed around by the officers. One of these, an elderly woman, ended up suffering fractures in her spine. She had to be taken to a hospital. The three others were arrested.
After this, the officers surrounded the congregation site. They wouldn’t let anyone go near it and drove everyone away by wielding electric batons. Many believers fled the location, and one woman fainted on the spot.
The police confiscated all belongings at Mr. Cheng’s house. The building itself was leveled soon after. He did not get anything in compensation for this.
As per Ms. Dong (pseudonym), one of the believers present at the site that day, the Apostolic Church admits people twice a year for Bible study. But because the police harass them constantly, they are forced to convene at different venues every time. The bible study gathering at Mr. Cheng’s house was supposed to last for three days.
Reported by Jiang Tao