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01/14/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – One of the earliest urban house church in Sichuan was harassed and raided by police on the night of January 10, as members were studying Bible.

Stream of Life house church was having their Bible study last Thursday night, when a group consisted of police, officials from Chengdu Civil Affairs Bureau, Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau, and cultural agency interrupted them and declared the church as illegal. They took away some Christian literature before instructing the church “not to organize illegal religious gathering.” The leader of the Bible study group was subsequently summoned by the police for interrogation.

China Aid reports that while the church was not disbanded, it is highly likely to happen in the near future. The church’s elder Cha Changping was one of the Christian leaders who signed a house church joint statement calling for religious freedom last year, and the church is in good relations with another heavily persecuted church in the area – Sichuan’s Early Rain Covenant Church.

A local Christian believes that local authorities intends to intimidate other local churches by raiding a few churches. As several criminally detained church members from Early Rain Covenant Church started to be released, the government does not want house churches to think that the crackdown has ceased and continue their operation.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].