|Chinese Christians such as these are
often harassed by authorities.
(Yining, Xinjiang—Jan. 5, 2018) Residents in China’s northwestern Xinjiang turned in their neighbors for holding festivities on Christmas Eve, resulting in the lengthy questioning of one of the attendees.
Lou Yuanqi spent 10 hours on Christmas Day at the police station for his church’s activities the night before after many people living in the vicinity reported them to the officials, who told Lou too many attended the gathering. They day before, government agents warned Christians not to meet in places unapproved by authorities and even threatened to destroy Lou’s church’s building.
This is not the first time Lou has been targeted for his faith. In mid-February last year, Xinjiang police asked Lou to sign a Letter of Undertaking that guaranteed he would not leave the locality. If he wants to travel, he must first apply for the police’s permission.
A local Christian informed ChinaAid that Three-Self Churches in the area have been “greeted” by the government and warned not to celebrate Christmas, which the Communist Party views as a dangerous holiday due to unfounded fears that Western countries are trying to infiltrate China via religion.
The attack on house churches came just a few days after Ma Huichao, a Xinjiang Christian, was sentenced to three years in prison on Dec. 21 for allegedly “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.”
ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Lou Yuanqi, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.