|An Yankui, minister of Zion Church in Taiyuan, before his arrest
(Photo: ChinaAid source)
(Taiyuan, Shanxi Province—November 23, 2021) On
November 21, 2021, Police took An Yankui, the minister of Zion Reformed Church
in Taiyuan, and a fellow believer to the precinct. Neither has been released at the time of this article.
ChinaAid sources claim the summon was associated with five
coworkers of the Fenyang campus of Taiyuan Zion Reformed Church who were
arrested this July. They attended the “Gospel and Culture Conference 2020”
organized by Pastor Stephen Tong Tjong Eng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia earlier
last year. Authorities criminally detained them on July 28 as they came back to
China. Chinese officials suspected the church members were “crossing the
national border illegally,” even though all members entered Malaysia legally
with passports issued by the People’s Republic of China.
Their case is not underway, but An Yankui
was summoned because of the same absurd charge. He maintained close ties with
Early Rain Covenant Church and Pastor Wang Yi, so he is targeted by the Shanxi
Department of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, National Security Department, and
Public Security Department. He spent the first day of the year at the detention
center, followed by many of his coworkers on fabricated charges. In the
meantime, other churches in Shanxi have been persecuted, some ministers and lay
believers were arrested and detained on charges including “fraud”,
“illegally crossing the national border”, “illegally possessing items that
spread terrorism and extremism.” Shanxi is quickly becoming one of the harshest
regions for Christianity in China.
~Yu Bing, ChinaAid Association Contributing Reporter
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