Two house church leaders from Beijing were arrested in 2015; a year later, they were sentenced to three years in prison and fined.
On August 16, 2015, Beijing’s Tongzhou district police officers broke into the home of a local house church leader Wang Qi (pseudonym). Without presenting any documentation, officers searched his home, turning up 316 evangelistic leaflets and 17 cross banners. Afterward, the police took the seized items and escorted Wang Qi and his wife to a police station. That day, 11 believers from the same church, including another leader, Wang Tong (pseudonym), were also arrested. They were all released after one month on bail, pending trial.
During the following year, the local police and the office of the public prosecutor sought out Wang Qi several times to investigate him. On July 15, 2016, Wang Qi was again summoned to the police station under a pretext of signing some documents. “After signing, you can leave. Just consider it was serving your sentence outside of prison,” said a staff member from the public prosecutor’s office. To Wang Qi’s surprise, after signing the document, officers escorted him directly to a detention center.
Wang Tong was arrested on the same day; later she and Wang Qi were both sentenced to three years in prison charged with “using a xie jiao organization to undermine law enforcement;” each one of them was fined 3,000 RMB (approximately 420 USD).
Xie jiao means “heterodox teachings.” Under Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code, anyone accused of participating a xie jiao organization can be punished with a prison term of three to seven years.