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09/18/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – In anticipation of the 70th anniversary of Chinese Communist Party, Beijing is stepping up its effort to monitor Christians, petitioners, and human rights activists.

Elder Xu Yonghai, a member of the Holy Love Fellowship, has been “guarded” by the state security since September 15. These guards outside of his door sometimes follow him when he heads out to buy groceries.

He said that this year’s stability maintenance for national celebration is more intense than last year – the authorities started their monitoring in mid-September this year, as opposed to end of September last year. The guards also did not tell him when they will retreat, but he assumes that they would leave after the first week of October.

Besides him, another member He Derpu also started getting watched on Monday. Others so far have not been monitored yet.

During this period, he will continue to hold gatherings at his house. Although he cannot freely go out, other Christians can still come to his house to study Bible. Some of the members who are also petitioners have been escorted back to their hometown or criminally detained, yet they will continue to meet even if attendance is low.

Xu said, “As long as I am home, […] I will persist. We will persist in holding our meetings. To learn about Bible, how to love people, there is nothing wrong with it. It’s a good thing. Perhaps some brothers and sisters are unable to come, especially those who are petitioners from out of town, given their detention or fear. With that, our number could be less, yet even with a few we will still learn.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].