Its congregation members and church leaders have gone through long-term harassment. In the latest raid, the police confiscated the church’s donation money as well.
In China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, the police recently raided upon a house church in Langzhong city. Chen Yuhong (pseudonym) was hosting a church gathering at her home with more than 60 believers in attendance when 17 police officers showed up at her door.
The officers never presented any warrant to conduct their raid and investigation. They had brought scanners with them, using which they searched each and every room. They also took photos of the believers and recorded their identification details.
Ms. Chen’s Bibles, a piece of jewelry worth 3,000 RMB (or 430 USD), and 2,000 RMB (or 280 USD) of the church’s donation money was confiscated as well. Later, both Ms. Chen and the church’s preacher, Ren Xinyi (pseudonym), were detained at the local detention center. While she was released within five days, the preacher spent two weeks in custody.
Meanwhile, over 50 believers were taken to the local police station for interrogations. They were released the same day but the officers threatened them that it was illegal to hold private gatherings without state approval. “The next time you will receive a heavy sentence.”
According to reports, the house church has been harassed several times over the past six years. The first raid was in May 2012 and even though Ms. Chen was pregnant at the time, she was repeatedly summoned for questioning. In December 2016, preacher Ren was detained for two weeks.
Reported by Yao Zhangjin
Last updated on November 13, 2018.