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Worship service in Beijing interrupted by officials

Friday, July 25, 2014

China Aid Association

(Beijing—July 24, 2014) Government officials in Beijing broke up a gathering of more than 40 Christians on Sunday and hauled the believers to the police station where they documented their information. Church property was destroyed and confiscated.

“In the morning, some government employees suddenly came in,” said a member of the Orchard Garden House Church, located in the Gaoliying Town suburb of Beijing. “They were from the Religious Affairs Bureau, the Public Security Bureau and the local police station. There were also urban management agents. Altogether, there were more than 10 of them.

“At the time, we were in a worship service. They told all of us to stop and then all the people in the church were required to have their ID information booked. Later on, they saw the donation box and tried to pry it open. Then, they used some firefighting equipment to smash the donation box. They didn’t take the money, but they took away the Bibles, hymnals and Gospel flyers,” the man said.

“There were more than 40 [church members] who came to the gathering,” Li, the church’s pastor, said. “They were all taken to a vehicle and hauled to the local police station where they booked the information of the worshippers. At 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the last two men came out [of the police station].”

“[Government officials] checked out IDs. Those who didn’t have their IDs with them were taken to the local police station,” a church missionary, named He, said.

“The people from the Religious Affairs Bureau said it is illegal to gather here, and we are not allowed to gather here again. All the worshippers should go and gather at a TSPM church,” Li said.

“We said that the law protects religious freedom and that in the city’s churches, there are several hundred or even a thousand congregants,” He said. “‘Why do you single us out while not doing anything to others?’ He said they don’t bother to disrupt other places.”

“This is the second time a gathering has been dispersed,” Li said. “It happened once late last year, and they took away all the books. So far, they still have not returned the books, nor did they give us a list [of confiscated items]. They dismantled the audio systems and all the wires and moved some items. Some Bibles were taken from the hands of congregants.”

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Website: www.chinaaid.org