The authorities in Henan have been harassing a Christian couple even after releasing them from their detention more than a year ago.
In December 2016, after someone reported them anonymously, five police officers took Lu Ming (pseudonym) and his wife into detention for having conducted a class on theology for children at their home.
The police interrogated both individually, and at length. Mr. Lu was asked a host of questions about his religious belief and activities.
The authorities wanted to know about his church, the church’s leader, the location of the church and its branches, the number of people he had preached to so far, the content of the preaching and so on. He was pointedly asked if he had been instructed to teach to children in particular. The same questions were repeated to his wife as well. But the authorities did not get satisfactory responses from either of them.
The police then raided the couple’s home and despite their best efforts, found no evidence indicating the couple’s belief in God. However, the couple was still charged with the crime of “instigating children” and taken to the Tanghe County Public Security Bureau. They were fined 50,000 RMB and released only after 15 days in custody.
More than a year later, the authorities continue to hound the Lu couple. In April this year, two police officers from the local station showed up their home with handheld scanners. After conducting a thorough scan of the house, they again questioned Mr. Lu about his religious belief. He was once again threatened against it and warned of more arrests in future.
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.