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China: Church Members Detained During Online Service for Western Easter

Persecution of Christians in China: the Chinese government is now using measures that Christians are taking during the coronavirus outbreak to step up its harassment and persecution. This comes in the midst of an all-out campaign to turn Christianity into a weak religion that is entirely subservient to the Chinese Communist Party, and that doesn’t teach anything that would lead Chinese people away from Communist Party dogma.

This is a matter of grave concern for Orthodox Christians in China and all other Christians as well. Holy Orthodoxy in China predates this war on Christianity. It has a three-hundred year history in China, with the first Orthodox Christians coming into the country in 1685. In the 1980s, the Chinese Orthodox Church began to experience a revival. Pray that it not be snuffed out. The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, requests once again that the Chinese government end these repressive measures, grant official recognition to the Chinese Orthodox Church, and give full religious freedom to all the Christians of that nation.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“Sichuan Church Members Detained During Easter Service,” International Christian Concern, April 13, 2020:

04/13/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that during an online worship session in China to celebrate Easter on April 12, several key members of the heavily persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) were taken away from their homes.

The Sichuan house church has not been able to gather in person since the government clamped down on the church on December 9, 2018 and arrested their pastor and other leaders. This Easter, the church was conducting an online worship session, when suddenly six leaders were taken by the Public Security Bureau from their homes.

A member of ERCC told ICC, “At that time I was also in the Zoom call, but there was a long period of time where I did not hear a thing. I thought it’s the network connection issue at first, but I soon heard a quarrel erupt. Our coworker Wang Jun was questioning some people, [saying], ‘Who are you to do this [to us]?’”

She added that, in addition to Wang, other leaders such as Guo Haigang, Wu Wuqing, Jia Xuewei, Zhang Jianqing and Zhang Xudong were also taken away. One member’s home had its electricity cut off, while others received phone calls that “police [were] coming to visit them soon.”

A supporter of ERCC also shared on Twitter, “Since 8:30 a.m., some security officials have entered these Christian families’ homes and pretended to be chatting with them casually. At 9:30 a.m., the worship began, and they were also invited to participate. Once they realized that the sermon was from ERCC’s imprisoned pastor Wang Yi, they immediately shut it down.”

Her account was echoed by Zhang Jiangqing, who was warned by the police at his house, saying, “Don’t participate in already banned [religious] activities anymore! Don’t listen to Pastor [Wang]’s sermons anymore! If you do this again, we will deal with it seriously and take you away!”

The six briefly detained Christians have since been released, and their electricity was restored in the afternoon….

Photo by Stefan Krasowski – Flickr: Sichuan_May09%2520011, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19431229

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