03/31/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – A house church in Hebei province’s Sanhe city was ransacked by the local authorities on March 27. Without showing any proper document, they removed the church’s property and their lease with the landlord.
Pastor Caleb Yang from Yanjiao Abundant Church shared in a Facebook post that some personnel from the local ethnic and religious affairs bureau, law enforcement, and district office jointly ransacked one of his church’s gathering places.
According to China Aid, the authorities called Pastor Yang that morning and asked him to open the door for them. He told them that he refused to do so, since there was no activity taking place and no one was there. As a result, the police broke their door and entered on their own.
By the time he arrived at his church, he found out that they not only removed their speakers, guitar, and communion supplies, even the posters with the Apostles’ Creed on the wall were torn apart. However, among what was left in the church, there was a piece of the poster that reads “and will come again to judge the living and the dead.” Yang said, “God is amazing, He uses His words to comfort us!”
Yanjiao Abundant Church is a small house church with around 40 members. They have refused to join the state-vetted Three-self Church and have suffered as a result. The churches in Yanjiao area were shut down “to prevent viral spread” before Christmas last year. The authorities also banned more than ten house churches at the end of January.
Yanjiao Abundant Church was raided on January 27 and sealed by the local authorities. On March 27, although the seal was removed, they put pressure on the landlord and asked him not to lease to the church anymore, for he “provided a private residence to be used as a religious venue.” He had no choice but to comply.
Pastor Yang said that the landlord is kind. He once spoke in favor of his church but was kept in a police office for a day as a result. China continues to target house churches in an attempt to force them to join the state-sanctioned churches or risk being shut down.
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