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Churches raided in China; leaders under house arrest comment (0)

August 29, 2013

Beijing, China — Local police broke up the worship service of a house church and arrested its pastor in China’s Xinjiang region for the second time in early August as pastors at Beijing Shouwang Church remained under house arrest.

In Xinjiang at least 20 police officers terminated worship and arrested Pastor Tan Wen on Aug. 4. The officers did not show any identification or follow correct procedures, according to news portal Monitor China, just as five officers without police uniform failed to do when they disrupted a service June 9 and detained the pastor for 10 days.

In the latest raid on the church in China’s northwestern region, officers also seized Bibles, hymnals and other books.

Authorities transferred the pastor to Xishan Police Station and then to a detention center that night to serve a 15-day sentence, according to China Monitor.

In the June 9 raid, three men and two women in plain clothes broke into the house where the church was worshipping — some members of the congregation feared they were being robbed — and shouted, “Yours is an illegal assembly, and all of you must stay still,” according to China Aid Association (CAA).

“Although the police officers refused to provide any identification themselves, they interrogated the worshippers for more than an hour, threatening to take the young people to the police station for further questioning,” CAA reported. “When the worshippers demanded to see official identification, one of the officers stated that those who raid illegal Christian gatherings do not need to show identification.” Local police, overstepping procedural bounds, sentenced the pastor to 10 days of public security detention and fined him $81, according to CAA.

On the eastern side of the country in Hebei Province surrounding Beijing, a priest of an unregistered Catholic Church fellowship was arrested in August. Law enforcement officials arrested Song Wanjun of Xiwanzi, Qiaodong District at 4 a.m. Aug. 7 as he was driving.

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