Officials declare singing worship song illegal

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pastor Xu Rongzhang
(Photo: ChinaAid)

Updated on April 21, 2017, at 12:32 p.m. CDT

(Zhengzhou, Henan—April 17, 2017) Authorities in China’s central Henan province declared singing a Christian song illegal on Saturday and detained a Taiwanese pastor for doing so.

At the time Taiwanese pastor Xu Rongzhang was taken into police custody on April 15, he was leading a Christian concert, which he believed to be prophetic, and had rented space at a karaoke location in Zhengzhou, Henan. While Xu sang "Jesus Loves You," a renowned Chinese worship song, with the congregation, authorities entered the facility, claiming they needed to check the firefighting equipment and took everyone gathered there to the police station. The Christians were accused of illegal religious activities, and the song they were singing was deemed against the law. Xu said he was interrogated for several hours and had his travel documents and phone confiscated. They were returned to him on April 17, despite the fact that he was released the same day he was taken in.

The police termed their treatment of Xu lenient and forced the Christians to compose penitent statements promising never to organize large-scaled gatherings again. Xu was warned not to hold services for more than 10 people at a time.

After Xu became a Christian at the age of 13, he was determined to become a pastor and has previously served many churches. He has prophesied for several political leaders and converted former vice president of Taiwan Annette Lu after he spoke to her about Christianity.

ChinaAid reports abuses such as those suffered by Xu in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law in China.

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