'I am crying out loud'; pastor writes letter about Henan persecution



Friday, August 31, 2018

A Henan church forced to display the
Chinese flag. (Photo: ChinaAid)
ChinaAid

(Zhengzhou, Henan—Aug. 31, 2018) A pastor penned a letter yesterday decrying the persecution of churches in China’s central Henan province, which is undergoing a fierce suppression of the Christian faith.

Recently, Pastor Shen Xianfeng has visited some of these churches, of which he notes in the letter, “All these churches were assaulted seriously; they [the government] has utilized any [government] department they could utilize with any methods/tricks they could adopt.

“All kinds of official forces, from public security, armed police units, high ranking officers or low rank ones from the levels of province, county, and village all came out to threaten, to detain, to tear down, and to seal house churches’ doors and to hit, break, and rob, [using] all kinds of means to repeat what happened during ‘the Cultural Revolution.’ What they did was totally not based on the law, and it was improper and unreasonable. They acted in direct opposition to righteous and moral principles.”

After China’s new Regulations on Religious Affairs went into effect in February, extremely narrowing the margins by which unregistered churches were previously allowed to flourish, Henan authorities have targeted these congregations and closed them down and forced them to display the Chinese flag and pictures of Mao Zedong and current Chinese President Xi Jinping, sometimes even taking Christians into custody.

The pastor’s letter has been included below.

ChinaAid condemns this treatment of Christians, which is a direct violation of the Chinese Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom, and exposes the abuses suffered by Henan Christians in order to uphold human rights, religious freedom, and rule of law.

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These days, I visited many persecuted churches in the cities of Xinyang, Tongbai, Tanghe, and Nanyang in Henan Province. All these churches were assaulted seriously; they [the government] has utilized any [government] department they could utilize with any methods/tricks they could adopt.

All kinds of official forces, from public security, armed police units, high ranking officers or low rank ones from the levels of province, county, and village all came out to threaten, to detain, to tear down, and to seal house churches’ doors and to hit, break, and rob, [using] all kinds of means to repeat what happened during “the Cultural Revolution.” What they did was totally not based on the law, and it was improper and unreasonable. They acted in direct opposition to righteous and moral principles.

My heart is aching, and I am sad. I am crying out loud. What I cannot figure out day and night is this: do these governing authorities really want to have the war be interior and exterior? To fight the exterior trade war with the U.S.A. and to fight the interior war with vulnerable and kind Christians? What are they thinking about? What is their purpose?

For all kinds of government departments, there are so many other major things they do not want to manage. But they are interested in using political machineries to make themselves the enemies of the Christians with while making trouble out of nothing. Do they have nothing to do? Who gives them the rights? What kind of result do they want to achieve? Are they reaching their plot? Is it worthy to do this?

But alas, so sad, my country!

Pastor Shen Xianfeng

Aug, 30, 2018


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