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Officials raid Christian care center, forcibly transfer patients

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A man holds a child outside of a branch
of the Guanai Center. (Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Reported by Qiao Nong in Chinese. Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Brynne Lawrence.

(Huizhou, Guangdong—Feb. 9, 2016) More than 100 personnel from multiple government departments raided a Christian care center in China’s southern Guangdong province on Thursday, seized 15 staff members and patients, including an infant, and relocated them to another shelter.

Under the pretense of conducting a medical check-up, authorities forced their way into a Huizhou branch of Guanai (Care) Center, a Christian facility established for the care of people with a variety of medical conditions, despite pleas from local Christians to leave the premises. They forced 15 staff members and patients into a vehicle and moved them to a shelter in Huiyang District.

“According to national regulations, receiving assistance is voluntary,” said Cao Nan, the founder of Guanai Center and director of its Shenzhen branch. “It is not enough to be forcibly dragged into going [to a shelter]. When our people arrived at the shelter, they all expressed that they were unwilling to receive assistance, but the town’s government dispatched public security personnel that did not allow them to return [to our care center], but forcibly contained them in the shelter’s lobby, restricting their personal freedom.”

A Christian kneels in front of government
officials raiding the Guanai Center, begging
them to leave. (Photo: China Aid)
Additionally, Cao claimed that the patients transferred to the shelter included a person suffering from paralysis, two amputees and a two-month-old infant.

The patients engaged in a stand-off with the authorities until nightfall.

On both April 20 and May 15, 2015, Shenzhen’s government issued a “Notice Regarding the Banning of Guanai Center in Xiyong Community’s Illegal Religious Activities” and a “Notice Demanding Rectification” to the center, which has a branch in Xiyong Community. They indicated that it operated without registering or receiving approval from the relevant government departments, constructed a cross without permission and displayed Bibles, the Virgin Mary and Christian literature. As a result, they were ordered to immediately stop all religious activities.

On June 30, the Shenzhen government dispatched around 200 security guards and personnel from the public security bureau and the religious affairs bureau to the Xiyong Community branch of Guanai Center and cut through the building’s gate, taking 30 patients away. According to Cao, those 30 patients are still held in another shelter.

China Aid reports abuses of religious freedom in order to encourage religious freedom and rule of law in China.

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