Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

5/9/2011 China (AsiaNews) – For the fifth week in a row, the continuing confrontation between the Shouwang Protestant Christian community and police in the capital. Yesterday, 15 other faithful were arrested because they tried to hold a church service in a public park in the Zhongguancun area.

The Shouwang church, numbering about 1000 people, is a technically “illegal” community (underground) because not registered. But for years they have asked for recognition from the government, which has blocked them from registering. In addition, the government has continually expelled from the community meeting places: one floor in a building that the community had rented, the room of a restaurant, which the faithful rented every week.

The community of Shouwang decided to hold its prayer services outdoors, in public places until the government decides to grant them registration or a place of worship. Since then, every Sunday, hundreds of faithful congregate in Zhongguancun and were arrested by the police who control the area en masse.

The first Sunday, April 10 last, police arrested 169 faithful, and the following Sunday another 50, more than 30 over the past two weeks, over 15 yesterday. After a few days people are released, but are subject to threats and are in fact placed under house arrest. Even the pastors of the church are under house arrest.

Some of the faithful on release from prison said they were “delighted” to have had the opportunity to pray and sing hymns in their cell, “proclaiming the gospel to the prison guards.”

Several scholars think that now the government’s religious policy is outdated and that it is time to change it. Beijing allows freedom of worship only in officially registered communities, in registered places and with registered personnel, under the control of the Patriotic Association, the long arm of the party.

See Full Story