(Yanjiao, Hebei Province—April 06, 2021) On March 27, officials from the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, the public security department, the state security department, and community police illegally plundered Yanjiao Abundance Church. Without notifying the church of the impending raid, Pastor Yang Jiale reported that related departments phoned him that morning, asking him to unlock the church door. He explained that no one was in the church and that no events were being held there. Pastor Yang refused to unlock the church door.
Later that day, without notifying Pastor Yang or presenting a warrant, police forcibly pried the church door open, commandeered the worship center, and illegally seized church property. In addition to taking speakers, guitars, Holy Communion supplies, and other items, officers tore the “Apostle Creed” down from the wall and impounded the church’s lease. They emptied the room of all but a few pieces of furniture.
When Pastor Yang Jiale arrived at the church and saw that police had taken most of the church’s possessions, he also noticed writing amidst the debris from the Apostle’s Creed remaining on the wall, “From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” Reading these words encouraged Pastor Yang. He said, “How wonderful God is, He uses his Word to comfort us.”
|Only one sentence of the Apostle Creed remains on the wall.
(Photo: ChinaAid resource)
Those* who regularly attend Yanjiao Abundance Church, a small evangelical house, refuse to join Three-Self churches. Because the church stands firm in the faith of Jesus Christ, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials aim to shut it down. Authorities initially targeted Pastor Yang as one of the signatories of the Pastor’s Joint Statement Pastor Wang Yi launched in 2018.
Generally, for the gathering places of house churches in Yanjiao, Hebei Province, like the house church Pastor Yang serves, Christians first rent private properties. After police plundered Abundance Church, related departments forced the landlord to terminate the church’s lease, citing the reason “the landlord violates regulations to rent it to the church he attends and provides a venue for religious events.”
Their [CCP’s] joint law enforcement knowingly breaks and severely violates laws. Authorities are not authorized to break into private property, but they violently encroached on our rights. One officer said that what they did was the government’s actions.
Shouldn’t government obey laws?
~ Yu Bing, ChinaAid Association Special Reporter
ChinaAid Media Team
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