Photo: The on-site administrative penalty for Abundance Evangelical Church (ChinaAid source)
(Foshan, Guangdong Province, China—May 12, 2023) 30+ Christians of Abundance Evangelical Church attended a Zoom Sunday Service, hosted by one of the female congregants. Dozens of police and personnel barged into her home and disparaged her for the “unlawful gathering.” Every Christian in the meeting had to pay a fine of 200 yuan (~$29).
Some fined or arrested
Personnel of the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs fined each congregant and made them pay via QR code. Afterward, everyone present was taken to the police station. Authorities released the last group of seven around 9 PM. One church co-worker was summoned to the police station and remained in custody.
Pastor Wu Guowu
Wu Guowu, the lead pastor of Abundance Evangelical Church, with the pastoral staff of the church, sent out an open prayer request on May 8, 2023, updating everyone about the event and saying,
The fundamental principle of the rule of law is “it is okay if it is not forbidden by laws”. Citizens of the [People’s Republic of China] are allowed to do anything that is not banned by laws at home including watching their favorite shows online. Foshan City Gaoming District authorities raided the private property and gave citizens a fine with the police’s help on the excuse of attending “illegal religious events”, which violates the Constitution and other laws and is blatant discrimination against ordinary Christians. We as the citizens of the PRC and Christians condemn this and feel outraged. Therefore, we ask Christians, domestically and abroad, to intercede.
May the Lord have mercy on China and those “law enforcement officers” who are ignorant and hopeless; hope they can wake up, become aware that they are hurting their fellow’s sacred emotions, and follow their conscience.
May the Lord protect brothers and sisters who have been persecuted and scared so that they can ponder the Lord Jesus’s teachings and understand that “blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” They can be stronger and more courageous after this incident.
May the Lord watch over the detained coworkers and hope they will be released soon.
~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Special Reporter