09/09/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – In the morning of September 4, a Christian music high school in China’s Harbin, Heilongjiang province, was raided by the local authorities. Dozens of students and teachers were taken away for investigation. The principal was intercepted and arrested on his way to drop off his child.
According to China Aid, more than 30 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, including SWAT officers, police officers, religious affairs bureau officials, and local school district administrators, raided the school at 8:30 am. More than 100 students and most of the staff were only released after being interrogated for 24 hours. School property such as pianos, computers, and documents were confiscated in the process.
A day before his arrest, Principal Xu told several teachers that police officers had called his landlord and asked them to get ready for “the trial.” Little did they know that “the trial” await them the next day.
While all the students and most of the teachers were sent home after a day, some teachers are still subject to follow-up interrogation. Since the school caters to students who are under 18, local Christians are concerned that Principal Xu might be charged for “enticing minors to religion.” Principal Xu has not been heard from since his arrest.
A Christian man with the last name Jin, a friend of Principal Xu, told Epoch Times, “Now the Christians from a few churches here are scrambling to find a lawyer for them.” Since each student is charged 17,000 RMB ($2631) for tuition, it is possible that the government will criminalize Xu for providing illegal education under financial crime.
He added, “Principal Xu has had his home raided twice six months ago. His phone has always been tapped. Despite our best efforts to learn about his whereabouts, we have received no news.”
Mr. Jin also commented that the CCP is extra sensitive about Christian schools. If a school is not authorized, then the government will arrest the responsible with all its energy. Early Rain Covenant Church is one such target – it is heavily persecuted to scare off other churches.
For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected].