CCP authorities arrest Christians from “the Assembly” across Guangxi, Beijing City, and other regions



Tuesday, June 1, 2021


A reminder of persecution for the gospel.
(Photo: Deposit Photos)

(Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) On May 27, a ChinaAid source reported the recent arrests and imprisonment of numerous Christians of the Local Assembly in Wuxi City (Jiangsu Province), Nanning City (Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), and Beijing City. In a broad sense, the Assembly, a Christian denomination in China, reflects a vital branch of house churches. Like traditional house churches, the Local Assembly has not joined the “Three-Self” Church. As the Assembly experiences high-stress targeting from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), this factors into contributing to the group being almost hidden.

Nevertheless, although persecuted and relatively unknown to the public., the Assembly serves as a strikingly, significant spiritual faith group in traditional Chinese Christianity.

During the past few years, the CCP’s suppression of the Assembly appears to have intensified. Sources reveal that in recent years, however, victims have gradually exposed the persecution which may potentially be nationwide.

Sources have also revealed that during 2019, local CCP police raided gatherings of the Local Assembly in Nanning Guangxi, and forcibly shut the church down. Authorities have detained Lin Zhe, Chen Xianyang, and Chen Weiyi, the three arrested Christians, for nearly two years.

According to public information on the website of China’s official procuratorate (April 15, 2020), the People’s Procuratorate of Jiangnan District, Nanning City, decided to prosecute Chen Xianyang, Chen Weiyi, and Lin Zhe. The official reports stated:

Later, the People’s Procuratorate of Jiangnan District, Nanning City had moved forward in  prosecuting defendants Chen Xianyang, Chen Weiyi, and Lin Zhe on suspicions of organizing and using cult organizations to obstruct the enforcement of laws.

After review, CCP authorities found the defendants Chen Xianyang, Chen Weiyi, and Lin Zhe guilty of organizing and using cult organizations to undermine the enforcement of laws and the implementation of administrative regulations. As the case made a major social impact locally, authorities planned to further proceed.

The CCP’s allegations against the three church members which the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China and the clause of “using a cult to undermine the enforcement of the law” invoked caused intense disputes in Chinese legal circles. Scholars believe this clause violates the provisions of Article 36 of the Chinese Constitution.

Citizens have the right and freedom to have religious beliefs. Any organization and individual should not be stripped of their right to religion, nor should citizens be discriminated against for having or not having religious beliefs.

Experts believe that the term “cult” is a religious expression and not a legal expression. The Law has no right to get involved in the spiritual or religious domain and can only be applied to crimes.

Article 300 of Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China convicts an individual for their beliefs, which violates the Chinese Constitution.

Gatherings of the Local Assembly in Beijing City also experienced suppression in 2019. CCP officials forcibly expelled visitors from Taiwan and Hong Kong’s Assemblies in May 2021, Beijing Municipal Court also arrested Lin Xianzan, another believer of the Assembly, and sentenced this Christian to three years in prison. 

Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, well-known Christian leaders, founded the Local Assembly/Church a Christian denomination in 1921. The Plymouth Brethren greatly influenced the origin of and special parts of its faith. 

In China, the Assembly is also called “Lord’s Recovery,” “Little Flock,” and the “Shouters,” [the name Chinese public security bureau used designating the group as a cult]. CCP officials deemed the “Recovery Version Bible” [which the Local Assembly/Church utilized], “Stem of Jesse,” and other Local Assembly publications as “cult” materials. In America and in other countries, however, mainstream Christianity accepts the Local Assembly, considered a branch of “Evangelicals.”
 


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So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, 
there is no one who has left house 
or brothers or sisters or father or mother 
or wife or children or lands, 
for My sake and the gospel’s, 
who shall not receive a hundredfold 
now in this time—houses and 
brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, 
with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
                                                                             ~ Mark 10:29-31(NKJV)




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