China Security Forces Raid Church, Release Christian Leaders
By BosNewsLife News Center
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) — Chinese security forces arrested church leaders while raiding a house church in Anhui Province during a worship service, and confiscated Christian literature and equipment, a Christian rights group said Saturday, January 27.
China Aid Association (CAA) said the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) and officers from the local police station and a county criminal regional Religious Affairs Administrative Bureau “broke into the house” in Zhangchong Township of Jinzhai County.
The January 24 the raid happened in the morning “when some Christians were having their worship service, CAA quoted eyewitnesses as saying. The security officials detained three Christians and “took pictures of every Christian in the room and asked for their names and identities,” CAA said.
The three were later released after an apparently intensive interrogation. Police also confiscated Bibles, hymn books, acoustic equipment, a blackboard, and the tither box, CAA said, adding police did not provide documentation approving the raid.
“The police warned the three church leaders that they are not allowed to gather without the registration to the government,” CAA said. Elsewhere in China several other Christian leaders were released, including three organizers of a December 29, 2006 Christmas celebration in Naoer Town, Duolun County of Inner Mongolia region, said CAA.
They have however filed a law suit against their 15-days detention saying their rights of religious freedom were violated by the local authorities. In Henan province nine Christians were also released after 15 days of detention, CAA added. The group was arrested January 6 “in a raid by police in Yongfeng Township of Xiuwu County in Henan province,” CAA said. They were released on January 20. CAA said it is believed that police “deliberately do not provide the Christians any legal evidences to prevent future lawsuits.”
In a statement to BosNewsLife, former house church pastor and current CAA President Bob Fu said he was concerned as “the Yongfeng Township police station did [something] intolerable in a modern society.” He said his group had appealed to the “Chinese government to investigate the responsibility of their illegal action.”
China’s Communist government has denied human rights abuses and says Christians are free to worship in the official churches. However human rights groups claim most Christian believers prefer to worship outside the Communist-backed denominations often in ‘house churches’, named this way as they are often organized in Christian homes. (With report from China and BosNewsLife Research. www.bosnewslife.com)
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