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Radio Free Asia: Qiuyu Zhifu Church harassed by police; court case filed against teacher for teaching Bible to students

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Editor's note: China Aid translated the following report, which was released by Radio Free Asia's Mandarin service.

Radio Free Asia
Dec. 19, 2015

Chengdu police harassed Qiuyu Zhifu Church (Chinese Human Rights Defenders)

Chengdu’s Qiuyu Zhifu House Church was recently harassed by the authorities, who assembled at the scene when the church members gathered. The believers said that this is a performance of fear and with a guilty conscience. In the other news, a court case was filed against Ms. Yu, a teacher at Sichuan province’s Xianlin Central Primary School because she told Bible stories to the students and brought them to a Sunday worship service, [actions] which were reported to the Yibin Department of Education by the students’ parents on the grounds of promoting cults. Teacher Yu told Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) that she was suspended by the school and waiting for the results from the police.

Following [the persecution of] Huoshi Church in Guizhou province, Chengdu’s Qiuyu Zhifu Church has also been harassed by the police. Church member Yang Wenting said in an interview by CHRD on Dec. 19, that there were two policemen sitting at the back of the church’s prayer meeting, monitoring them Wednesday night.

Reporter: “Has the harassment of Qiuyu Zhifu Church by police been more severe recently?”

Yang Wenting: “Yes, [it has been] more serious recently. In the Wednesday evening prayer meeting, two police officers were sitting inside the church, wearing uniforms, staring at the church [members].”

Yang Wenting said that although the church has often been suppressed by the authorities in past years, this is the first time the police officers have been dispatched to a gathering. Yang speculates that [the visit from authorities] has something to do with Pastor Wang Yi’s return from overseas last month. Yang Wenting said he thinks that this action showed the authorities guilty conscience and fear.

Chinese American church pastor Guo Baosheng released news on Twitter two weeks ago, stating that Chengdu’s Qiuyu Zhifu Church member Ying Qiang was visited by police required to register his whole family’s identity information, including his parents’ and in-laws’ information. Furthermore, they inquired about the family’s income situation to determine if the church’s funding was in U.S. currency or Yuan.

Xu Yonghai, an elder at Beijing Holy Love Fellowship, a house church, told CHRD on Dec. 19 that the Chinese authorities’ suppression of the house churches never stopped, and it has become more severe recently. Compared to [persecution against] house churches, the suppression to the Three-Self [Patriotic Movement] churches is even more surprising.

“It should be said that China’s house churches have consistently been suppressed. In the 1990s, they were suppressed; 10 years ago, they were suppressed. Now, there has not been improvement. Huoshi Church and the church to which Wang Yi belongs [being persecuted] just shows that the status of the China’s house churches is still the same—they are still being persecuted. The official Three-Self churches are also being persecuted. This has never happened before; the Three-Self churches are the [government’s] assistants. You see, from the beginning of last year—the dismantling the crosses in Zhejiang—most [of the affected churches] are Three-Self churches.”

In the other news, in Yibin, Sichuan province, Xianlin Central Primary School, Ms. Yu, who has been teaching for more than 30 years, was dismissed for talking about Bible stories with students. She was reported to the department of education by [the students’] parents, and the police filed an investigation case.

Ms. Yu said in an interview with CHRD on Dec. 19 that she is still waiting for the police’s results and that she does not regret this, because she has the mind to give the child an established, correct outlook on life.

“I have believed in Jesus for two or three years. I think this is a very good faith. I taught for 32 years and am an old teacher. [I] have always been the teacher in charge of the class. There are children’s Bibles in my church, so [I thought] I could reference Bible stories in class and establish a correct outlook on life for the children. Then, I read the Bible stories to them. Secondly, [I] brought some children to Sunday School during summer vacation with parental consent. Finally, two parents jointly sued me. They reported directly to the Yibin Municipal Education Commission, which caused them to panic. They ordered the district board of education to investigate. When the district board of education came to investigate me, I had a good attitude while telling him the benefits of Christianity. They thought my attitude was not correct; it seemed slovenly, not serious. The result was they brought the case to the police, and the police filed the case and carried out investigation towards me. They asked me to present all materials in writing, and on Wednesday I did but didn’t get any result until today. Last Thursday, I was fired after the first class [of the day]. I haven’t had classes until today.

Ms. Yu said the parents sued her for promoting a cult. This is slander against her. She is just a Christian, and Christianity is not a cult.

(Special correspondent: Yang Fan; Editor: Kou Tianli)

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