08/07/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – Huoshi Church in China’s Southwest Guizhou province was raided again by the police on Sunday. The local authorities came with more than hundreds of staff from Public Security Bureau, Religious Affairs Bureau, and Residential Committee in Nanming District while the house church was having its Sunday service.
A church member identified as Ms. Fang detailed the raid in an interview with Radio Free Asia on Tuesday. She said someone knocked on the door around 11 am on the 4th while the service was ongoing. The person claimed to be from the property management company and took the phone number and ID number of their pastor Yang Hua. More than ten minutes later, someone knocked the door again, but this time it was a team of around 40 to 50 people from different bureaus of the government.
Ms. Fang said, “There were also 50 more people downstairs, so together they had about more than 100 people. They said our gathering was illegal and we cannot meet anymore. […] The moment they entered, they searched our offering box and took away our hymn books and Bibles. We told them that they cannot search our stuff without having proper legal procedure.” In the end they relented and returned the books to the church.
Public Security officials took Pastor Yang Hua and Pastor Su Tianfu to Residential Committee and interrogated them. The two pastors were kept there after having refused to provide a statement. On Tuesday, the landlord who rented this venue to the church called and requested to cancel their lease.
Another meeting place of Huoshi Church also was raided by the police last Wednesday. Their projectors, hymn books, Bibles, and benches were all confiscated and kept at Residential Committee. They only got them back on Monday after a round of negotiations.
The church was founded ten years ago and grew rapidly in a few years. They have about 500 members, but have been raided and disbanded by the local authorities multiple times. Both pastors were imprisoned with “leaking state secrets” and only were released recently.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator:[email protected].