After Christians from a house church in Henan Province showed just how vicious the government is by posting a video of them tearing up a painting of the cross inside their church government officials proved it again, by mobilizing over 400 people to destroy the house of worship in retaliation.
Enfu meeting place, located in Huixiaoying village, Tongzhaipu town, Tanghe county, Nanyang city, was a house church where over 200 believers congregated. Starting on August 22, officials from eight departments—including the local United Front Work Department, the Religious Affairs Bureau and the Administration Bureau for Industry and Commerce—visited the meeting place, ordered that the cross be dismantled, tore up a mounted painting of a cross, the Apostles’ Creed and other paintings and works of calligraphy that were hanging inside the church. While they were doing this, believers recorded the violent destruction and posted the evidence online, drawing the ire of the local government.
According to villagers, at 5 a.m. on September 5, the county party committee secretary, accompanied by a group of more than 400 people, including personnel from the aforementioned departments, plus a SWAT police team, fire brigade, a medical team and a number of people from villages throughout Tongzhaipu town, arrived to begin the destruction. After prying open the gate, the police burst into the meeting place, destroyed the podium and kitchen stove, toppled the chimney and smashed porcelain bowls, leaving shattered pieces everywhere.
The police officers outside removed the cross above the meeting place entrance and also removed ceramic tiles depicting the Chinese words for “love” and “The Lord giveth peace.” The police then sealed off the inner and outer doors of the meeting place and wrote the Chinese word for “Banned” on the wall in the courtyard. Later, the government sent people to install two cameras at the entrance of the meeting place to carry out surveillance and prevent believers from continuing to congregate.
Two believers, who had been guarding the meeting place, came out to stop the destruction, but the police twisted their arms backward and forced them into police cars. Police officers guarded every intersection in Huixiaoying village and, to top it all off, the power supply was also cut. Villagers were permitted to leave the area but not allowed to enter. Government personnel also used drones to take surveillance photos from above the meeting place. Even some homes of the villagers were raided, in order for state officials to monitor them villagers and prevent them from taking photos.Believers guard the church and pray for it not to be persecuted by the CCP.
Believers guard the church and pray for it not to be persecuted by the CCP.
One female believer who used her cell phone to take photos secretly was caught by a police officer, who rushed her, grabbing her phone and slamming her to the ground, resulting in a head wound that bled heavily. Six other believers who tried protecting were then forcibly escorted into police cars with their arms twisted behind their backs. One believer, who runs a medical clinic, had her arms severely sprained. Not only did the police not take her to the hospital for treatment, but they also threatened to revoke her business license. Afterward, the police took away the church’s Bibles, air conditioner, computers, musical instruments, and other church equipment.
Government officials came back to check on their Enfu church handiwork on September 27, and when one believer tried to reason with them, he was forcibly taken away by the police. At the time of this writing, the believer has yet to be released.
Reported by Jiang Tao