Chinese authorities have raided the persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church during a worship service, reportedly locking members inside until they showed identification to police.
One member was arrested.
Watchdog organization International Christian Concern reported that on August 14, over 20 police officers descended on the tea shop where the Chengdu-based house church was holding services.
The officers, who were both in uniform and plain clothes, declared the gathering was illegal and prevented over 60 church members from leaving.
Ultimately, all were released but Xing Hongwei and his wife, Zhao Qing, who were escorted away by police after Hongwei resisted as police tried to force him towards registration, ICC reported.
Hongwei, a critic of the authoritarian Chinese government who had only recently been detained for protesting the police beating of another church member, was arrested.
Qing says her husband has been charged with “assaulting police.”
“ERCC members said brother Hongwei is a gentle spirit who is committed to charity and education and has translated multiple books on missionaries,” ICC reported. “He disdained the authoritarian regime and was detained earlier for 10 days after protesting the police beating of ERCC Pastor Wang Yi’s mother in February 2019.”
Hongwei is still recovering from meningitis and on medication, his cohorts say, and nearly lost his life last year.
“The criminal detention of brother Xing is a persecution of faith by the authorities. It is an extension of the 12.09 crackdown and oppression against ERCC,” the church said in a statement.
“This type of clampdown is coherent and ongoing. The police should stop persecuting and repressing our church, treating our members as second-class citizens as if we were in the Cultural Revolution era, because God’s judgement is real.”
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