Pastor Xu Feng remains in jail. He is accused of teaching religion to minors, although he claims he taught only music.
by Pan Shan
In Harbin, the capital of Northern Heilongjiang province, a Christian music school was raided last September in the early morning by the police, and its principal arrested.
Maitzu Shengle Superior School (麦子圣乐高中) is a Christian school for talented young musicians, specialized in choir singing and piano lessons, whose principal is Pastor Xu Feng.
Chinese law prohibits teaching religion to minors. However, the school does not teach religion. It teaches only music, although some of its graduates are sent there by their churches to be trained to sing in church choirs.
In the last few years, following indications by President Xi Jinping himself, provisions against involving minors in any religion-related activities have been interpreted more strictly. Pastor Xu Feng’s home has been raided by the police twice, and his phone has been put under surveillance. Students and their families have also been questioned and harassed by the police.
In the first days of September 2021, the landlord who rents to Pastor Xu the premises where the school operates advised him that the police was preparing a raid.
On September 4, 2021, at 7.00 in the morning, some 35 police officers and bureaucrats from the Religious Affairs and Public Education administrations raided the school, detained all the teachers and students, and confiscated pianos, computers, and other equipment.
The students and other teachers have since been released, but Pastor Xu Feng has been formally arrested for teaching religion to minors. He remains in jail awaiting a trial.