Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: June 17, 2018
In May 2018, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs issued an administrative measure forbidding foreigners from organizing religious activities and restricting Chinese citizens’ participation in them. Since then, many foreign missionaries have been arrested or driven out of the country, their numbers constantly increasing. Bitter Winter received information about three cases when foreign missionaries were forced to leave China.
In the early morning of May 6, officers from the Fuzhou police station in Fujian Province burst into the home of preacher Liu Ying (pseudonym) and two female Japanese preachers. The policemen forced them to unlock their phones and reviewed their call histories. After finding Bibles and evangelical materials, one of the officers claimed that these materials were illegal in China, ordering the Japanese preachers to go back to their country immediately. “Otherwise, you will be arrested and put in prison!” The police ordered their landlord to stop renting to them. Fearing persecution, the landlord asked the three preachers to leave without returning the three-month advance that they had paid earlier. Frightened by the police and left without a home, the Japanese missionaries left China.
On May 8, Yong Jingjian, a Japanese language instructor at a university in the city of Zunhua, Hebei Province, disappeared. University leadership ordered all his colleagues and students not to tell anyone about his disappearance warning, “Don’t inquire about Yong Jingjian anymore. We don’t know where he is – this is all that we can say. Don’t contact him.” On May 11, the school made an announcement: “Mr. Yong Jingjian was called back to his country by the Japanese government because of a sensitive political issue. Do not spread rumors about this.”
A reliable source said that “Yong Jingjian was driven back to Japan because of his missionary work. It’s a sensitive issue because it has to do with the persecution of foreign missionaries, so the school has been suppressing this information. The Chinese Communist Party is afraid the most of foreigners coming to China to preach – they’re always keeping an eye on them.”
At about 6:30 a.m. on May 31, Meihui from Japan and her husband, Yu Jie from New Zealand, 40-year-old Christians who were staying in Xindian town in the Xiang’an District of Xiamen city in Fujian Province, were awakened by a loud knocking on the door. Through the peephole, Meihui saw several Chinese police officers pounding on their door. Terrified, she did not dare open the door. Two hours later, four officers came back, force-entered the house and ordered the couple to leave the country before June 4, or, otherwise, face arrest. Despite this, they continue to live in China in constant anxiety, experiencing health problems because of that. They are facing forced deportation at any moment.