Law enforcement officers apprehended an Evangelical preacher during her father-in-law’s funeral.
While preacher Ding Lijuan (pseudonym) of the Local Church in Jiaozuo city, Henan, was making funeral arrangements for her father-in-law, she was arrested by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police; she was later sentenced to five years in prison. The Local Church is an international Evangelical Christian group founded in the 1930s in China, where they are also known as the “Shouters,” for their practice of calling the name of the Lord out loud.
According to an inside source, on June 22, 2014, Ding Lijuan’s family set up a funeral canopy to mourn for her father-in-law. At approximately 6 p.m., someone called Ding Lijuan and told her to go to the village entry point, and when she arrived there the police apprehended her on the spot. Her family repeatedly begged authorities to at least wait until after the funeral to take her away, but police officers and officials from the Bureau of Religious Affairs were unmoved by their pleas and demanded Ding Lijuan to sign a guarantee that she would no longer believe in God; only then she would be allowed to morn. Ding refused, and the police immediately apprehended her, seizing two boxes of Bibles found during the search of her home. Consequently, authorities charged Ding Lijuan with “using a xie jiao (heterodox) organization to undermine law enforcement” and sentenced her to five years in prison.
Ding Lijuan used to work at a bank in Jiaozuo city before her arrest and owned some real estate. Ding Lijuan rented some of her property to students from a university in Jiaozuo and would hold sermons for the students in her home.
Reportedly, the CCP police often take advantages of religious people visiting their relatives to arrest them, using family members as baits to lure them in.
Reported by Jiang Tao