The church’s leader was interrogated if he had financial deals with people in Hong Kong or Macau to pay for the running of the church.
In June, while a congregation was in session at the house church in Yunnan’s Yuanjiang county, several government officials showed up at the venue. They were from eight public departments, including the county’s United Front Work Department as well as from bureaus like State Security, Urban Construction, Environmental Protection, and Religious Affairs. Police officers from the local station were also a part of the group.
The believers were forced out of the church, and the venue was sealed soon after. The church’s leader, Chen De’en (pseudonym), was taken to the station for interrogation.
Mr. Chen was questioned about the church’s funding and involvement of foreigners in the church in detail. He was explicitly asked if he had made any financial deals with people from Hong Kong or Macau. He was then asked about the source of money that was used to build the church. The officers also wanted to know if any of the church members spoke a foreign language or if they were in contact with a foreigner.
The police then showed Mr. Chen photos of over 40 Christians and asked him to identify them. They claimed they were all on government surveillance blacklist.
Other members of the church too were taken to the police station to record their cellphone and bank account numbers as well as WeChat usernames. One of the members later said, “They even interrogated us about how much money each person donated to the church. Personnel from the county’s State Security Bureau said that if foreigners are involved, we will be subject to a judicial investigation and sentenced.”
Reported by Bai Lin