11/04/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – A Presbyterian Church in China’s Xuzhou was raided on October 31 during Sunday worship. The pastor and four members of the house church were taken away, while others in attendance had their personal information taken by the police.
According to China Aid, local authorities from Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province raided Dao-en Presbyterian Church last Sunday when the worship was taking place. Pastor Fang Xiaojun and four Christians were brought to the local police station.
As a church not vetted by the state, Dao-en Presbyterian Church is not unfamiliar with persecution. In August 2018, Tongshan District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau interrupted the Sunday service of the church’s South Campus and issued a notice of administrative punishment to Pastor Fang and Preacher Ma Ben. Since then, the church has often been raided.
On August 2, 2020, Pastor Fang and some members were gathering at a congregant’s home, while others attended online Sunday worship. The police raided the home and took Pastor Fang away. He was not released until noon that day.
Pastor Fang has a track record of standing with the persecuted. He visited the heavily targeted Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) in Chengdu, after the December 9 crackdown in 2018 took place. He is also a close friend of Elder Zhang Chunlei, a church leader in Guiyang detained for his religious identity and activity on March 16, 2021. He once made a promise to Elder Zhang, ERCC Elder Li Yingqiang, and Pastor Huang Xiaoning from another persecuted church in Guangzhou, that if any one of them is imprisoned, they would pray together at 5 pm.
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