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ICC Note: In January, 15 Christians belonging to the Holy Love Fellowship in Beijing were arrested and held in criminal detention for a month. Although all but one has been released, the church has now been banned from meeting and unidentified thugs have shown up and harassed church members. The church is now faced with the decision to continue meeting at the risk of further arrests and harassment, though one source reported the church is determined to do so despite the risks. While China publicly claims to offer complete religious freedom, in practice the Communist Party still maintains a close eye on religious adherents and allows local governments to routinely arrest Christians. In addition, by law, no one under the age of 18 is allowed to attend a church service. 
3/11/2014 China (ChinaAid) – Members of a house church in Beijing were harassed by men from China’s coastal Anhui province, who accused the church of engaging in anti-Communist activities, on Saturday.
Members of Holy Love Fellowship, located in the Tongzhou District of Beijing, were approached by two men, claiming to be from Bengbu, Anhui. The men said they were looking for Shi Xinhong, one of many non-locals in the area who have come to Beijing to petition higher authorities about disputes back home. Many of these petitioners have joined the church during their prolonged stay in Beijing.
Christian Zhou Jinxia told China Aid that the men showed up outside the church between 1-2 p.m. on Saturday, saying that they wanted to help Shi solve issues she was facing in her effort to petition the Beijing authorities. Zhou told the men that if all they wanted was to help, they could talk to him since Shi wasn’t around.
“Then, they couldn’t go on with their story, so they began to smoke. I told them to stub out the cigarettes. Then they continued their talk,” Zhou said.
Zhou said he then told the men to leave. Instead, they called the police, saying that the church was against the Chinese Communist Party and had abducted and controlled Shi, whom one of the men claimed was his aunt. The men stayed at the church and continued to harass believers even after calling the police.

Holy Love Fellowship has faced increased persecution since the beginning of the year, including the detention of more than a dozen believers who attempted to gather for a Bible study.
On Jan. 24, a group of 19 believers attempted to meet for a Bible study and deliver medicine and food to a believer at his home. Shortly after arriving at Zhang Wenhe’s house, 15 of the believers were taken into custody by officers from Liyuan, a town within Tongzhou District.
The group of detained believers was transferred to the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Detention Center on charges of “holding an illegal assembly.” Since that time, ten believers have been released after a month of criminal detention, and two visiting Christians were sent to their home in Tianjin, Beijing’s neighboring municipality.

Xu reported that church members are still under surveillance and that some are under house arrest. He stressed the severity of the persecution: “We can say this is the first time since the Communists took power in China [in 1949] that they have taken all the members of a church to a detention center. This is the most serious ban because all were taken to the detention center.”
Xu also said that the church has been banned from meeting. “Whether we will persist in our household meetings is our problem. They shouldn’t think we will not get together just because they have banned us,” he said.
“That is why I want to write a letter to them and ask them if they will allow us to get together in our meetings and to study the Bible,” Xu said. He told China Aid that he wrote a letter to the delegates of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress, which began on March 3 and 5, respectively.

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