China: Police raid historical house church in crackdown on Christians
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is continuing to crack down on pastors and members of house churches on August 10, police officers raided the homes of members of the historical Church of Abundance (Fengsheng) in Xi’an, Shaanxi, Bitter Winter reports.
According to Bitter Winter, the Church of Abundance had been subject to particular harassment by an officer called Zhang Haibo of the Xi’an Shilipu Subdistrict Police station. In addition to being subjected to raids, some of the church leaders were taken to the police station for interrogation. Officials have also confiscated money from the church.
“It seems that the police intend to accuse the pastor and elders of fraud,” Bitter Winter reports. “As reported to Bitter Winter, police officers insistently questioned the church members about donations. One officer told believers that the illegal collection of donations makes the church a xie jiao or a “cult,” although its theology is pretty much mainline.”
“They answered that the poorest members of the community have generously received from the church, and that they believe the money donated is largely used to support the poor,” Bitter Winter added. “The crackdown is, however continuing, and the Church of Abundance asks for the prayer and support of those caring for the freedom of Chinese Christians.”
While the CCP cracks down on other minority groups, especially violently against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, it views Christianity as a principal threat to its authority and power. Accordingly, it has long advanced a system of suppression of evangelical churches and oppression against believers.
China ranks 17th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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