Officials raid kindergarten established by Fujian church

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Chinese officials often
raid Christian events
for children, such as
this church-run summer
camp. (Photo: ChinaAid)
(Xiamen, Fujian—April 26, 2018) Officials from a local religious affairs bureau and ministry of education in China’s eastern Fujian conducted a two-hour investigation of a kindergarten established by a local church on April 16.

The kindergarten, which wishes to remain anonymous to avoid further scrutiny, was established by a church in Xiamen. On the morning of April 16 at 9 a.m., 10 officials from the ministry of education entered the building and inspected the classes, books, supplies, and rosters. Though the administration protested the intrusion, the investigation lasted almost two hours.

After the initial inspection, another 10 officials were summoned from the religious affairs bureau. Upon hearing the news that the school was being investigated, some of the parents of the students came to see what was happening. Though many demanded answers from the officials regarding the reason behind the raid, there was no intense clash between the groups.

The officials brought cameras and filmed the students during a morning prayer inquired about the number of students in the school and the textbooks used. The official who led the squad claimed that the school was an illegal institute, and that the religious affairs bureau had been tipped off about its existence.

Under China’s current law regarding religious practice, the Religious Affairs Regulations, children are forbidden from participating in any religious activity, as the Communist Party considers exposing minors to religion as “indoctrination” or “brainwashing.” Therefore, anything affiliated with churches is closely scrutinized, especially when children are involved.

This raid is similar to a forced investigation that took place at the Beatitudes Public Kindergarten in Beijing, which is run by Aijiabei Church. On March 29 and 30, security guards hired by the government blocked the gates, preventing teachers and staff from entering. Though they were working with the blessing of the local police, these guards refused to give the reason for the blockade. Currently, Aijiabei Church has hired legal representation in hopes of addressing the issue through legal action.

ChinaAid reports on instances of religious persecution, such as raids on church-supported kindergartens, in order to promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law in China.

ChinaAid Media Team
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