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Guangdong police shut down Shenzhen seminary run by Hong Kong-based house church, tell teachers to return to South Korea, Malaysia

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

China Aid Association

(Shenzhen, Guangdong—Aug. 27, 2014) Authorities in China’s southern Guangdong province raided a theology seminary for college students that had been put on by a Hong Kong-based house church two weeks ago. Police took the Christians to a hotel where they were interrogated, photographed, fingerprinted and had blood samples taken. Police told the believers they should return to their homes, including four of the seminar’s teachers who were from Hong Kong, South Korea and Malaysia.

“The school’s name is Shiluo Theological Seminary, and it is located in Mt. Wutong of Luohu District, [Shenzhen],” a Shenzhen pastor said. “Over 50 police came [to break up the gathering]. There were 30 students, plus four or five teachers.”

“At about 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 14, the authorities dispatched around 40-50 people,” a student who attended the class said. “The people from the [Luohu District] Religious Affairs Bureau led the raid with police officers working in conjunction with them.

“After they entered our site, they told us not to move and to take out all our cell phones. Then, they confiscated all our cell phones. They gathered us into a big bus, which took us to a hotel where they questioned us one by one and took written records. After that, they told us to sign a document and leave our fingerprints,” the student said.

“They took us to the local police station to draw blood, take photos, and fingerprints and to make a written record,” the student said. “Then, we went back to the school for a meeting. At the meeting, the [police] said such a religious training program is illegal.”

“They also said we should… go back immediately to pack our things. Then, they hauled us in their bus to our dormitory where they supervised us in packing. They wanted all of us to leave Shenzhen immediately,” he said.

“There were two [teachers] from Hong Kong, one from South Korea and one from Malaysia,” the student said during an interview on Aug. 16. “By this time, the officials still have not returned the passports to the sisters from South Korea and Malaysia, but the officials want them to leave China.

“It was our tenth day [of training]. This is because Aug. 4, [the first day of the class], was for registration, and the incident happened on Aug. 14,” he said.

“They didn’t give a reason [for the interruption], and there were no documents,” the pastor said. “The police simply asked [the group] to move out [of the building].”

“Whether this operation is against [the Hong Kong- based church] in particular or is an action taken on a national scale, the [church] is trying to find the answer,” the student said. “That’s why they are praying and examining [the situation] in order to understand this incident. However, the police have known about this school for a long since because it was founded in 2003. The church rented the entire building.”

A similar incident occurred on Aug. 4 in Jinzhai County, Lu’an, Anhui, when more than 10 police officers shut down a house church-run summer camp for minors.

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