Local government and law enforcement have raided many religious venues and arrested believers in the city’s Dahua and Donglan counties in previous months.
On June 6, 2018, six officials, including court employees and police officers from the Public Security Bureau of Dahua County as well as the secretary of the town of Duyang, visited the home of Christian Li Haifeng and repeatedly questioned him about his faith, which they labeled “belief in xie jiao (heterodox),” “opposing the Communist Party,” and “engaging in illegal activities,” brashly stating, “If we say you’re guilty, you’re guilty!” They then took photos of Li Haifeng and his wife, and, before leaving, the town secretary warned Li Haifeng that he would not be allowed to believe in God anymore.
On the same day, three officers from the Dahua County Public Security Bureau and the Duyang town deputy mayor charged into the home of Christian Ai Zhen and questioned her, warning that she was not allowed to believe in God, attend religious gatherings, or take in Christian visitors. This was the second time that authorities questioned Ai Zhen.
Christian Li Chengwei and his daughter, Li Yan, from Yantan town were also questioned for the second time by officers from the Dahua County Public Security Bureau and Yantan town police station. Police asked if anyone who believed in the Lord had visited their homes, whether they had been spreading the gospel, or had religious books at home. Before leaving, the officials warned the father and daughter that they were not allowed to believe in God or spread the gospel, or else they would be sent to prison again, referring to their arrest in 2017.
On May 24, 2017, a religious gathering, which Li Haifeng, Ai Zhen, and Li Yan also attended, was raided by the police, with over 20 officers surrounding the building, forcibly detaining four Christians, and seizing a large box of Bibles. Twelve other Christians were surrounded by more than 30 armed police officers on their way home and apprehended on charges of “believing in xie jiao.” All arrested Christians were detained in the Duyang police station and later transferred to the Dahua County Public Security Bureau. Li Haifeng was held in Dahua County for 15 days, and four other non-local Christians were transferred to the Jinchengjiang District, where they were imprisoned for one month. The other Christians were all released the next night following their capture.
All names are pseudonyms.
Source: Direct Reports from China