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China: Police Raid Church’s Youth Summer Camp

For background on Orthodox Christianity in China, see here.

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

“Police Raid Zion Reformed Church’s Youth Summer Camp,” China Aid, July 27, 2023

(Taiyuan, Shanxi province) On July 25, police raided Zion Reformed Church’s youth summer camp and administratively detained four members for 15 days.

Authorities apprehended Pastor An Yankui, Zhang Chenghao, Wang Yingjie, and his wife Wang Ying. All four Christians will be in administrative detention for 15 days for “carrying out activities in the name of an illegal social organization.”

The next day, children’s Bibles, teachers’ cell phones, books, and other personal belongings were confiscated. Police refused to give an inventory of the items seized.

Zion Reformed Church started a three-day youth summer camp on July 24th. On the second day around 5:30 PM, police officers and representatives from the religious affairs bureau burst into the building. They demanded to inspect the camp on the grounds that there were safety hazards. Ten men in police uniforms and five men in plain clothes took away Pastor An Yankui, Wang Yingjie, Wang Ying, and Zhang Chenghao. The children were left at the camp with An’s wife, Yao Congya, and Zhang’s wife, Guo Juan.

Officers asked parents to come to the camp. Parents waited outside and waited to be released. Those whose names were called were allowed to leave with their children. Some spoke with law enforcement officers because they were holding their children’s Bibles.

During this time, joint law enforcement wanted to take away all of the male Christians. None of them agreed to leave their families. An argument broke out between the parents and one of the female cadres from the Religious Affairs Bureau. One parent asked which laws prohibit their children from studying the bible. The woman official responded, “You also allow them to kill and set fire to people, right?” All of the parents were shocked by the official, likening studying the Bible to murder….

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