China Aid Association
(Zhongzhuang, China – Jan. 31, 2011) A house church in coastal Jiangsu province that has been meeting for many years was raided by local religious affairs officials on Sunday and forced to shut down, ChinaAid has learned.
The church in Zhongzhuang, Jianhu county has been pastored for many years by Pastor Zeng Zhengliang, who used to be one of the important leaders of the Chinese House Church Alliance. A church building was constructed through donations from church members.
Pastor Zeng had been summoned last weekend by the county Religious Affairs Bureau and the Public Security Bureau and was told that if he dared to enter the church on this Sunday, he would be arrested.
Before 7 a.m. Sunday, Zhang Yuchun, head of the county office of the China Christian Council and the Three Self-Patriotic Association showed up at the church door with two other officials to prevent the Sunday morning worship service from taking place. A Zhongzhuang village cadre was also there to take photographs.
Pastor Zeng and his church members went into the church according to the normal schedule for the Sunday worship service. The local religious affairs officials sent one person by force to the pulpit to deliver a sermon, but the congregation refused to listen to him and drove him out of the pulpit. He again went to the pulpit and again he was driven off. Finally, he had to give it up.
After the service, church workers bought a padlock and locked the main door of the church building before leaving. When Zhang saw this, he also bought a padlock and also locked the church door to prevent the church members from gaining access to the building. Several hours later, Zhang drove back to the church and smashed the padlock the church workers had put on the door, thus ensuring that only he could enter the building.
ChinaAid Association expresses its shock over this incident and denounces the officials’ actions. We will be paying close attention to further development in this case.
Pastor Zeng Zhengliang’s phone number is (86) 13912534211
House Church in Jiangsu Province Raided, Shut Down
China Aid Association