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Police in China’s Chengdu raid Sunday assembly of banned church members, detain one — Radio Free Asia

Authorities within the southwestern Chinese language province of Sichuan have as soon as extra raided a gathering of Early Rain Covenant Church members within the the provincial capital, Chengdu, detaining considered one of them, RFA has realized.

Christian author and translator Xing Hongwei was detained in Chengdu on Sunday after a teahouse gathering of church members was raided by round 30 uniformed officers and plainclothes state safety police, church members mentioned on Monday.

The group of greater than 50 church members was accused of holding an “unlawful gathering” at a teahouse in Chengdu’s Wuhou district, and Xing was detained for allegedly “assaulting a police officer,” and is being held in prison detention, they mentioned.

Whereas the church’s premises had been raided and forcible shut down throughout police raids in December 2018, the authorities have continued to focus on the church’s members, amid tightened restrictions on spiritual teams lately below ruling Chinese language Communist Social gathering (CCP) chief Xi Jinping.

A church member surnamed Wang who was on the teahouse mentioned police surrounded the group and took their private particulars together with ID card numbers, one after the other.

“About 50 brothers and sisters attended,” Wang mentioned. “At round 10.30 a.m., about 22 or 23 uniformed law enforcement officials and about eight or 9 plainclothes police surrounded us.”

“They surrounded us in two circles; one circle round our group, and one other across the whole [teahouse] courtyard,” he mentioned.

A second church member who declined to be named mentioned the raid was led by the state safety police chief for Wuhou district, who mentioned the Chengdu police division was taking a “zero tolerance” strategy to the gathering.

Early Rain Covenant Church pastor Wang Yi and his wife are shown in an undated photo. Credit: Early Rain Covenant Church
Early Rain Covenant Church pastor Wang Yi and his spouse are proven in an undated photograph. Credit score: Early Rain Covenant Church

Violent police response

Officers mentioned the church was an “unlawful group,” that had already been banned, the church member mentioned.

“Brother Xing’s spouse Zhao Qing and their daughter got here yesterday, whereas he waited for them exterior [due to ill-health],” the church member mentioned. “The police went out to test his ID card too, and he requested them why he was being pulled into this as he wasn’t even on the assembly.”

Xing’s questioning of the police was met with a violent response.

“The police hit Xing Hongwei as a result of he was unwilling to cooperate when requested for his private particulars, after which there was a bodily altercation,” a church member surnamed Li advised RFA.

“The police pushed Xing Hongwei to the bottom saying he had assaulted a police officer and took him away,” Li mentioned. “We later heard that Xing Hongwei had been detained on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.”

Xing was taken to a distinct police station from the native one, and hadn’t emerged by 11.00 p.m. on Sunday.

An worker who answered the telephone on the Jitou police station in Wuhou district hung up the telephone when contacted by RFA on Monday.

Bob Fu, president of the U.S.-based Christian rights group ChinaAid, mentioned the police raid had disadvantaged the Early Rain church members of their spiritual rights.

“Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church was based by Pastor Wang Yi, who gave a sermon from the pulpit calling on Xi Jinping to cease violating the Chinese language structure with the crackdown on spiritual freedom,” Fu mentioned.

“This raid on the Early Rain Sunday assembly was one more severe type of persecution,” he mentioned.

Harmful overseas import

Wang Yi was jailed on Dec. 30, 2019 by the Chengdu Intermediate Folks’s Court docket, which discovered him responsible of “incitement to subvert state energy” and of “working an unlawful enterprise” in a secret trial.

Wang was detained by police in Sichuan’s provincial capital Chengdu on Dec. 14, 2018, alongside dozens of church members in a raid that prompted a world outcry.

Some Early Rain Covenant Church members who had been detained in raids on Dec. 9 and 10, 2018, and later launched mentioned the police had overwhelmed them, and one detainee described being tied to a chair and disadvantaged of water and meals for twenty-four hours, rights teams reported on the time.

The CCP below normal secretary Xi regards Christianity as a harmful overseas import, with social gathering paperwork warning towards the “infiltration of Western hostile forces” within the type of faith.

The social gathering, which embraces atheism, workouts tight controls over any type of spiritual follow amongst its residents.

State safety police and spiritual affairs bureau officers ceaselessly raid unofficial “home church buildings” that are not members of the CCP-backed Three-Self Patriotic Affiliation, though member church buildings have additionally been focused at instances.

China is dwelling to an estimated 68 million Protestants, of whom 23 million worship in state-affiliated church buildings below the aegis of the Three-Self Patriotic Affiliation, and a few 9 million Catholics, nearly all of whom are in state-sponsored organizations.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.



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