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Chinese Officials Raid Sunday Church Service, Violently Arrest Christian Worshipers

Holy Orthodoxy has a three-hundred year history in China, with the first Orthodox Christians coming into the country in 1685. The Church grew slowly and steadily there, but was almost wiped out during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. In the 1980s, however, the Chinese Orthodox Church began to experience a revival. However, now “Chinese President Xi Jinping said religions could operate only if they were ‘Chinese in orientation’ and that Beijing ‘must provide active guidance to religions so that they can adapt themselves to socialist society.'” This applies to the Orthodox Church in China and all other Christians as well. The Chinese Orthodox Church is in a difficult position, as it is not one of the Christian groups recognized by the Chinese government. This lack of recognition leaves Orthodox Christians in China vulnerable. The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, requests that the Chinese government grant official recognition to the Chinese Orthodox Church, and full religious freedom to all the Christians of that venerable land.

“Chinese Officials Raid Sunday Church Service, Violently Arrest Christian Worshipers,” by Leah Marieann Klett, Gospel Herald, August 20, 2018:

Undercover police and Chinese government officials violently arrested Christian worshipers after raiding a church in Henan province amid an ongoing crackdown on religion in the Communist country.

ChinaAid, a Texas-based nonprofit group that documents Christian persecution in China, reports that the raid occured on Sunday morning at a church in Zhumadian, Henan.

“Some were undercover cops, and others wore a uniform,” a worshiper who wasn’t named recounted. “They snapped pictures while bursting in. Then, they cut off the service.”

Several of the more than 20 Christians worshiping there were taken into custody, according to the report. In the process, officials pushed a woman to the ground and knocked a child off a chair. Additionally, some worshipers recalled how officials threatened their jobs, their security, and even their lives….

The arrested Christians were taken to the Xiyuan Police Station, where they asked Lü Guang, the associate director of the religious affairs bureau: “What crime did we commit? Why did you take away our friends?”

Sister Sang asked, “We are Chinese citizens and have freedom of religion. Why do you keep track of our personal information?”

The believers, who were held in custody for over three hours, were reportedly told that while they do have religious freedom, they must submit to the authority of the government and only meet at approved venues.

“Our jobs, lives, and even security are all affected severely,” the Christians told China Aid.

In 2017, China passed tighter restrictions regarding religious gatherings, teachings, and buildings in efforts to reserve state power and prevent “Western infiltration.”

At the time, Chinese President Xi Jinping said religions could operate only if they were “Chinese in orientation” and that Beijing “must provide active guidance to religions so that they can adapt themselves to socialist society”…

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