■ Authorities in China’s southwestern Yunnan province have arrested several Christians for allegedly belonging to “evil cults” that oppose the law.
On Oct. 22, Christian woman Tu Yan was apprehended by authorities for allegedly “using a cult organization to undermine the implementation of the law.” A month later, they arrested her for the same charge and even accused her of organizing meetings for two “evil cults,” China Aid details.
|A farmer walks past a vegetable field next to newly-built
residential buildings in Chenggong new district of Kunming,
Yunnan province, China, August 5, 2015.
(Reuters / Wong Campion)
Meanwhile, Yunnan authorities also detained four other Christian church members for the same charge as Tu’s. Local Christians claim police have detained 12 individuals, but some of the people have reportedly been released already.
Speaking to China Aid in an interview, Tu’s father said his daughter is not involved in any cult activities. Her lawyer also said he believes she has never been a part of such movements.
On Nov. 27, a similar scenario played out in Yunnan’s capital Kunming. Police reportedly detained eight Christians for allegedly belonging to a Christian sect called the Shouters, which is considered as a cult in China. One of those detained is a Taiwanese citizen.
A few months ago, two Christian summer camp leaders in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region were detained for several days after they were charged of indoctrinating minors with superstitious beliefs. Yining County Church members Zhou Yanhua and Gao Ming were about to take a group of children to a camp when police arrived and took them, including all of the kids.
Zhou was detained for 10 days while Gao remained under police custody for 15 days. Xie Xianhua, a church elder, said officials told the families and the school teachers of the children that the students could be blocked from being admitted to higher levels and the teachers’ wages could be reduced.
Under the Chinese law, religious teaching is forbidden until an individual reaches the age of 18. The law considers these teachings to be a form of brainwashing, and parents and church leaders could be punished for letting children participate in Christian activities.