The authorities hired thugs to vandalize and loot a religious gathering venue in Anhui.
In July 2015, more than 200 members of a house church were gathered at the home of a believer, Zhou Sheng (pseudonym), in Anhui’s Tongcheng city to participate in a biannual Bible study.
When the believers who were on the lookout duty saw police vehicles and large trucks drive towards the house, they alerted the congregants that they had to flee. The church’s leaders and most of the believers were able to escape. However, some elderly believers couldn’t move fast due to their limited mobility.
Soon, 15 police officers showed up at the venue. The officers were visibly angry at finding that most of the believers had escaped and so, directed hired local thugs to destroy everything there. These thugs smashed the water tanks and cauldrons installed at Mr. Zhou’s house. The police, on the other hand, took away the cooked food, along with tables and chairs.
The police also detained five elderly believers, including the 77-year-old Mr. Zhou. They were interrogated at the police station before being released.
Such instances have made local citizens increasingly wary of the CCP and the authorities.
Reported by Jiang Tao
Jiang Tao (uses pseudonyms for security reasons), aged 42, is from Henan Province. He previously served as a magazine editor and has long been concerned about vulnerable groups that are being persecuted in China. He has written a variety of commentaries probing human rights issues in China, and his articles have been published in international journals. After leaving his magazine job in 2015, he started visiting and interviewing persecuted religious groups and other vulnerable groups and gathering information about incidents. He joined Bitter Winter in 2018, and since then is dedicated to reporting the persecution incidents in Henan, Shanghai, Anhui, and other regions.