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03/30/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – An elder from a house church in China’s Guizhou was detained after local authorities conducted a raid at his church on March 16. He was supposed to be released on March 28, yet his wife was not able to bring him home.

Several members of Guiyang Ren’ai Reformed Church were having a Bible study at a rented room in Wenzhou Hotel, when the police interrupted their activity and accused them of organizing an illegal gathering. The police checked their IDs and cell phones, before taking some of them to the Yan An Zhong Road police station.

At 5 pm that day, elder Zhang Chunlei from the church went to the police station to negotiate his members’ release but was detained himself. On March 17, the police went to Zhang’s house and confiscated his computer, cell phone, and some valuables. His wife Yang Ai-Qing was notified of his administrative detention which would last 14 days (later changed to 11 days).

While the other three Christians from his church: Chen Jianguo, Li Jinzhi, and Li Lin were released after three days of administrative detention, when Zhang’s wife Yang went to pick him up on March 28, the police told her that he had already been sent elsewhere for investigation.

On March 29, the police notified Yang that her husband is now being criminally detained. As for how long and under what charge, it is still unknown. China Aid suspects that the police might be working on a trumped-up charge for Zhang, as Guiyang city has been a focal point for a crackdown against house churches.

For interviews, contact Alison Garcia: press@persecution.org.