Liaoning police disperse outdoor gathering, question believers

China Aid Association

(Dalian, Liaoning—Aug. 15, 2014) Two Christians from Beijing were taken to a police station for questioning on Aug. 8 after a public security agent ended their gathering in a public square in the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning.

Li Guohong, the pastor of the Beijing-based Aiqi Church, and Zhou Jinxia, a church staff member, were taken to a local police station in Xigang District, Dalian, after handing a religious pamphlet to the wrong person during an outdoor worship service.

“There were six of us together,” said Zhou. “At about 10:30 a.m., as we were studying the Bible, a man came [up], and we gave him a Gospel flyer. He walked around, and then said we must stop and closed my Bible. He asked us to stop and didn’t allow us to continue our worship service. He said we should not violate the law and that we should go to a big church for our worship.

“Then, he made a phone call to the Huanghe Road Police Station and wanted the police officers…to come. At this time, a police vehicle arrived and asked whom Zhou Jinxia and Li Guohong [were]. They wanted the two of us to go with them. They took our Gospel flyers, and our umbrella was taken by them. Then they took us away and left,” Zhou said.

“[The police] simply said this gathering is illegal,” Li said. “They said we can go and gather inside a church. We said we wanted to preach the Gospel and let the light of God shine over China and let dark China see the glory of God. The police made a written record and asked us where we came from, why we were preaching the Gospel here, why we didn’t preach the Gospel in the church, and where else have we preached the Gospel. Besides these [questions], they didn’t talk too much.

“I’ve found this doesn’t look like a case the local police want to get involved in. It seems a higher authority wants them to investigate this matter,” Li said.

“This should be counted as a summon because they did a formal written record,” Li said. “We put our fingerprints there and signed the document.”

“At about 11:30, they told us to leave,” Zhou said.

The six Aiqi Church staff members began the worship service at 9:30 a.m. with a prayer. The prayer was followed by hymns led by Shi Xinhong, another staff member. Zhou then read Luke, chapter 2, which Pastor Li intended to explain, Zhou said. However, it was just as Li began his sermon that the public security agent began breaking up the gathering.

The square where the service was held is the location where Zhou Jinxia’s home used to stand until local authorities demolished it on Aug. 3, 2009. Zhou’s family still has legal rights to the land, but isn’t allowed to use the land. Li said the group intends to continue to hold outdoor worship services at the site.

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