03/18/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – On March 16, when a house church in China’s Guizhou was having its small group gathering, local authorities conducted a raid and took away more than ten Christians, including two female Christians visiting from elsewhere to the police station.
According to China Aid, the local ethnic and religious affairs bureau and public security personnel raided Guiyang Ren’ai Reformed Church when its members were gathering. Twitter user @tudou522525 shared a video of the moment when the raid took place.
After being taken to the police station, a female visitor was only released from the police station around 5 pm, followed by a few other members. A Christian had her money in the wallet confiscated.
The leader of the church, elder Zhang Chunlei, arrived at the police station to negotiate their release. He stated that he would like to be with his brothers and sisters, until the last one is released. Some other church members also were waiting outside to show support.
Guiyang Ren’ai Reformed Church, a house church that refuses to join the state-vetted church, has been repeatedly raided and had police removed its crosses and other religious material before. Zhang was told that their gatherings are illegal. Even after their church building was banned, when they rented a hotel venue to conduct worship service, the police would come and interrupt them while confiscating church property.
Elder Zhang once told CBC News, “The authorities are very powerful,” he said. “We cannot confront them, but we will find other ways to pray.”
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