by Joseph Decaro, Worthy News Correspondent
BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News)– China Aid reports raids on two house churches and a home Bible study in Xinjiang last month.
Brother Tan Wen was leading a worship service at a friend’s house in the Shayibake District of Urumqi when five people in plainclothes broke into the house and shouted that the assembly was illegal and not to move.
Although they refused to identify themselves, they interrogated the worshippers for more than an hour, but when asked to see their official identification, the officers stated that raiding illegal Christian gatherings exempted them from showing any ID. Eventually Tan Wen was taken to the local police station where he was sentenced to 10 days of public security detention and fined.
The second raid occurred when Sister Lu Xia attended a house church gathering where officers from the Shayibake District Branch of Urumqi Municipal Public Security Bureau broke in and, without showing identification, took her away. She was sentenced to five days administrative detention.
Sister Zhu Jinfeng of Urumqi hosted a Bible study at her home; during the study, her home was raided by the local Public Security Bureau and she was fined.
In all three incidents, the police violated legal procedure by failing to show their identification and failing to notify the Christians of their rights as required by law; the applicable laws didn't support the penalties imposed; the officers’ actions violated the Christians’ religious freedom and finally, the arresting officers lacked the authority to regulate anyone's religious faith.
China Aid insists that the Chinese government respects the basic rights of its own people as expressed in the Chinese Constitution and international law.