In Xinjiang’s Urumqi, authorities shut down a house church and arrested several of its church leaders. A female church leader has lost her job due to the arrest.
Recently, Jiang Feng (pseudonym), a house church leader, in Xinjiang, spoke to Bitter Winter about how authorities shut down his church and arrested his co-workers.
On March 11, Mr. Feng and over fifty other Christians were in a congregation when more than 20 gun-wielding police officers from the Urumqi city Public Security Bureau ambushed them.
The police later confiscated over 100 Bibles and books of hymns from the church. Mr. Feng, two female church heads, and their 60-year-old female believer and host were all taken into detention.
During his interrogation, Mr. Feng was made to sit on a “tiger bench” and iron stools, both of which are torture devices. He would be made to sit on these for long periods of time to “reflect” as to why he should renounce his religious beliefs. He stated, “After a while, the iron stool hurt like a pinprick. It was unbearable.”
Mr. Feng was also questioned about foreign involvement in his church and asked to identify other pastors. When he refused to talk, he was taken to the Xishan Second detention center.
The next day, at noon, the three female detainees were taken to the Liudaowan Women’s detention center on charges of “using religion as a pretense to organize Bible studies and the singing of songs of worship to disrupt public order.” They were held there for ten days.
According to a source, one of the female church heads ended up losing her job as a result of being arrested by the police. The elderly host is being monitored round the clock. The house church has also been sealed off.
Reported by Li Zaili