Police plunder Abundance Church in Yanjiao, Hebei, illegally confiscate church property



Tuesday, April 6, 2021


Yanjiao Abundance Church after being plundered.
(Photo: ChinaAid resource)


(Yanjiao, Hebei Province—April 06, 2021) On March 27, officials from the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, the public security department, the state security department, and community police illegally plundered Yanjiao Abundance Church. Without notifying the church of the impending raid, Pastor Yang Jiale reported that related departments phoned him that morning, asking him to unlock the church door. He explained that no one was in the church and that no events were being held there. Pastor Yang refused to unlock the church door.

Later that day, without notifying Pastor Yang or presenting a warrant, police forcibly pried the church door open, commandeered the worship center, and illegally seized church property. In addition to taking speakers, guitars, Holy Communion supplies, and other items, officers tore the “Apostle Creed” down from the wall and impounded the church’s lease. They emptied the room of all but a few pieces of furniture.
 
When Pastor Yang Jiale arrived at the church and saw that police had taken most of the church’s possessions, he also noticed writing amidst the debris from the Apostle's Creed remaining on the wall, “From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” Reading these words encouraged Pastor Yang. He said, “How wonderful God is, He uses his Word to comfort us.”

Only one sentence of the Apostle Creed remains on the wall.
(Photo: ChinaAid resource)


Those* who regularly attend Yanjiao Abundance Church, a small evangelical house, refuse to join Three-Self churches. Because the church stands firm in the faith of Jesus Christ, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials aim to shut it down. Authorities initially targeted Pastor Yang as one of the signatories of the Pastor’s Joint Statement Pastor Wang Yi launched in 2018.

During the 2020 Christmas season, using pandemic rationale, Yanjiao Development Zone, Sanhe City, Hebei Province, required that churches close. By the end of January, authorities forcibly shut down 10 house churches. Authorities routinely coerced pastors to unlock their church's door. If they were rejected, officially broke into those locations and removed church property. They would then post seals on the door.

Generally, for the gathering places of house churches in Yanjiao, Hebei Province, like the house church Pastor Yang serves, Christians first rent private properties. After police plundered Abundance Church, related departments forced the landlord to terminate the church's lease, citing the reason “the landlord violates regulations to rent it to the church he attends and provides a venue for religious events.”

"The landlord was kind," Pastor Yang Jiale said, "but police detained him for a day at their station just because he spoke up for the church."

Yanjiao development zone closed churches prior to Christmas 2020, reportedly due to "pandemic." (Photo: ChinaAid resource)

One pastor questioned the authorities’ action:

Their [CCP's] joint law enforcement knowingly breaks and severely violates laws. Authorities are not authorized to break into private property, but they violently encroached on our rights. One officer said that what they did was the government’s actions.

Shouldn’t government obey laws?

 

~ Yu Bing, ChinaAid Association Special Reporter 


* Attendance averages 30 to 40 people


###


And He commanded us to preach to the people, 
and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God 
to be Judge of the living and the dead.
                                                                                                         ~ Acts 10:42  (NKJV)



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