Persecution watchdog, China Aid, reported that more than 80 Christians have been arrested after police authorities raided a network of house churches. Police invaded the Fangcheng Fellowship in northwestern Xinjiang and arrested the Christians in early January, days before the Lunar New Year.
The Christians were accused of “engaging in religious activities at non-religious sites.” Public security bureaus targeted the house churches in the cities of Urumqi, Kuytun and in Shawan Counties.
Chen Xiangyan, one of those detained, said, “We believe in Jesus whole-heartedly. What just happened was not fair. We did not cause trouble. We did not bother the neighbors. All we did was study the Bible.”
In another incident, police officers on January 20, 2017, invaded a church and disturbed a group of Christians during fellowship. They labeled the gathering “illegal” and arrested 10 church members but later released the sick, elderly, and those who were previously arrested.
Six women were detained for 15 days and fined 1,000 Yuan or $145 for “gathering and praying under the name of Christianity.”
Chen Xiangyan, one of those detained, said, “We believe in Jesus wholeheartedly. What just happened was not fair. We did not cause trouble. We did not bother the neighbors. All we did was study the Bible.”
Another detainee, Zhu Xiaohua, revealed that authorities have persecuted members of the church and urged them to join the Three-Self Church. They were accused of breaking the law and were ordered to stop their private gatherings.
Chinaaidorg. (2017). Chinaaidorg. http://www.chinaaid.org/2017/03/arrests-and-detentions-sweep-across.html
Cbncom. (2017). CBNcom (beta). http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2017/march/more-than-80-chinese-christians-arrested-for-praying-under-the-name-of-christianity