Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: June 22, 2018
Hao Qingguo is the leader of all the congregations of the Shouters, an Evangelical Christian group known in the West as the Local Church, in Jilin Province. In February 2018, the 59-year-old priest was arrested when he got off the train in the province’s city of Dehui where he was supposed to have a meeting with fellow church members.
Local National Security Brigade officers questioned him and then detained him for 15 days for “disrupting social order.”
This was not the first time Hao Qingguo was arrested. In 2004, he was sentenced to three years in prison. In May 2017, National Security Bureau officers in the city of Yanji arrested him, searched his house and confiscated all of the religious materials that they found there. Shortly after his release, the National Security Bureau went to his home to arrest him once again, but because he had just moved, he was lucky to escape that time.
Because of Hao Qingguo’s criminal record from 2004, he has been continuously persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party for over a decade. Even though the monitoring and harassment have intensified in recent years, Hao Qingguo’s faith has not wavered. On the contrary, he is determined more than ever to continue believing and serving his congregation.
The Local Church is an international Evangelical Christian group founded in China in the 1930s. In China, members are known as the “Shouters,” for their practice of calling the name of the Lord out loud.