Several years ago, authorities in Gansu shut down a house church and arrested its believers.
In 2012, believers were in a congregation at a house church in Gansu’s Tianshui city. Some believers had come from the bordering areas of Shaanxi as well. Soon, over a dozen police officers stormed inside and halted the meeting by claiming that the church was xie jiao.
Xie jiao translates to heterodox teachings in China, and participation in one is punishable under the Chinese Criminal Code with a prison sentence of three to seven years or more.
However, when a believer present objected to being termed as such, the police beat him up violently. A pregnant woman and an elderly suffered physical constraint due to the police’s behavior.
Later, the police interrogated over 100 believers one by one. Believers were asked about their religious and ideological leanings as well as about the church’s administration. The police also imposed fines on the believers, ranging from several hundred to thousand RMB.
Wang Bo, a believer, was not only fined 2,000 RMB for “not telling the truth” but was also defrauded of 12,000 RMB (around 1,700 USD) when the police took away his newly purchased vehicle on the grounds of it being a “criminal instrument.”
Five preachers from the church were sentenced to three years in prison for “using a xie jiao organization to undermine law enforcement.”
Reported by Ma Xiagu