China Aid Association
(BEIJING — December 3, 2008) ChinaAid recently learned that a house church retreat associated with the Local Church network was raided by police the morning of September 27, 2008 at a retreat center in Yanqing county, part of the Beijing municipality near the Great Wall. More than 110 house church Christians were interrogated, and two were detained in administrative detention.
More than 110 college students, young people and young working adults were gathered for a weekend retreat from September 26 to September 28 when Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers showed up the morning of September 27 and surrounded the meeting. Five of the Christians were taken to the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) station for detention and questioning. The rest of the approximately 110 Christians were detained and questioned at the scene in groups of five.
Officials at the scene asked each of the Christians was asked 8-10 prepared questions, such as: “Who told you to come to this gathering? Whom here at this site do you know? Who gave you the book you have in hand? Who is in charge of this place? Who is the leader here? Where do you usually hold your gatherings? How many people are there? Do you know that you are Shouters, which is a cult? Do you intend to hold such gatherings in the future?”
The Christians were all photographed and their IDs recorded, and if they were college students, their universities were contacted. After hours of interrogation the Christians were released the same day. Those released were separated in three groups: Young people under college age were taken home by their parents or relatives. Young working adults were released on their own, while college students were released last to school officials.
The college students were from more than a dozen major universities in Beijing. All of the students who were from outside the Beijing area were released and sent back to their hometowns. Those who were living in Beijing were taken away by their school authorities. One student was dismissed from Beijing Jiaotong University. The rest of the students received warnings after they returned to their schools.
Of the five Christians who were taken to the PSB office, three were released the same day. Two Christians received administrative detention. Shi Lei (about 36 years old) was held 10 days administrative detention, and Chen Xianchuang (27 or 28 years old) was held 13 days. The charge was “using an evil cult to engage in illegal gathering.”
The house church retreat was held to train Christians under 35 years old. One house chruch member said, “Most of those present are newly saved. May our Lord strengthen them into their inner being so that they would not be distracted. €¦ The situation may affect the home meetings. Please pray for the Lord to cover each home opened for His interest.”
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Read a related article about a police raid of Local Church college students in Zhejiang province.
Find out more about the Local Church network associated with this house church meeting.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]