Persecution is Rampantly Growing in China as the Government Takes Control

Recently, China has been taking measures to crackdown on unofficial churches by raiding gatherings from forty to the hundreds and taking people into custody throughout the month of July.
( [email protected] ) Aug 10, 2005 12:02 PM EDT

China has recently been taking control of their religious situation by sending a message through their raids that they will not tolerate any unofficial gatherings.

The China Aid Association (CAA) released a press statement on Aug 8th revealing that from the beginning to the end of July, there had been raids where Chinese officials have arrested several groups of people who are either students, pastors, or lay people.

For instance, on July 1, about seventy members of the house churches were arrested at Zhaolou Village in the Henan Province. The church was performing a baptism ceremony for sixty of the seventy people at the time of the arrest, and the result of the raid ended up with ten of them sentenced to fifteen days of administrative detention, meanwhile the others were released with a fine of 300 RMB, which is equivalent to 35 U.S. dollars, CAA reported.

Three weeks later, on July 22, 100 Christian students in high school were arrested at Langfang City in Hebei where they were attending a Vocational Bible School (VBS), which was organized by their Christian parents, CAA said and, in addition, they were interrogated, released, and told not to attend anymore of these type of activities.

CAA also stated, from one of their sources, that a sixteen year old house church in the Minhang District in Shanghai was closed down by authorities. The Religious Affairs Bureau and the District Governor placed a notice on the gate of the church on July 26 saying that the church, who gathered about 400 people, was deemed an "illegal religious gathering" CAA released and, they were ordered to "end service [their] immediately."

The most recent action made by the government in China came last week when two American tourists were arrested and roughed up by authorities. The tourists were at the house of Ms. Ren DaoYun, the hostess who invited them to speak to a small gathering of forty one local Christians in the town of Lutou in Hubei, when the authorities came and took them all in to be questioned.

A newspaper in China said that these crackdowns are part of a government campaign to control unregistered churches who are practicing their faith against the governments approval.