|Officials often raid churches, such as
this one in Guizhou province, and
order them to cease holding religious
activities. (Photo: ChinaAid)
(Shenzhen, Guangdong—April 24, 2017) Officials in China’s southern Guangdong province interrogated a pastor’s wife for 15 hours after she identified herself as the head of the church during a raid on Thursday.
On April 20, police disturbed a meeting at Buji Church, saying they had received a complaint, and questioned the church’s legality. When asked who was in charge of the church, Zhang Rongxian, the wife of pastor Zhang Fei, identified herself and was interrogated in police custody for 15 hours. While she was detained, government personnel drew her blood and took her fingerprints.
Additionally, Zhang Fei said that the police called the church “illegal” and warned them to cease gathering. As a result, the landlord pled with Zhang Fei to stop holding church services, reasoning that the church’s activities must be illegal if the officials identified them as so.
According to local Christians, authorities have been invading churches in Shenzhen, using the excuse that they need to check the building’s firefighting equipment. Zhang Fei said, “A short while ago, the police came to check our firefighting system and deemed it unsatisfactory. We asked them about what to do, and they merely told us to buy a few fire extinguishers, which we did. They now visit regularly to do inspections. Now, they have begun to pressure the landlord to evict us, despite the fact that we have signed a contract for two years. There are still 18 months left.”
ChinaAid exposes abuses such as those suffered by churches in Shenzhen, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.