|Zhou Jinxia holds the Christian sign that
she held in front of an imperial garden,
trying to preach to Chinese President Xi
Jinping. (Photo: ChinaAid)
(Dalian, Liaoning—March 21, 2018) Public security bureau officers detained a Christian woman from China’s northeastern Liaoning province on March 16 after she tried to preach to Chinese President Xi Jinping while the country’s two governing bodies met.
On March 15, Zhou Jinxia, a Christian who traveled to Beijing from Dalian, arrived at the front gate of the former imperial garden Zhongnanhai, holding a sign that read, “God loves the people of the world and is calling out to Xi Jinping.” Her objective was to reach Xi while the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) convened. At 1:42 p.m., the director of the Huanghe Street Police Station, based in Dalian, brought her away, and she was escorted back to her hometown overnight. The next day, the Xigang Branch of the Dalian Municipal Public Security Bureau criminally detained her.
Days before, her friend called to inform her that the police have accused her of being a suspect at large and are looking for her.
According to one an anonymous Christian with knowledge of the situation, Zhou traveled to Zhongnanhai several dozen times in the past few years to spread the Gospel and has either been detained or abducted each time. She spent 10 days in administrative detention in March 2016 after another visit to Zhongnanhai, where she held a sign that said “God loves the people of the world and is calling out to Xi Jinping and [Xi’s wife] Peng Liyuan. Atheism nurtures sin and brings down the people. The kingdom of heaven is at hand; you should repent.” The police called this act “disturbing social order” and confiscated her materials.
Last year, Zhou and another Christian from Anhui, Shi Xinhong, went to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and attempted to preach to the attendees of that year’s meeting of the NPC and CPPCC. Both of them received the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and were criminally detained.
However, because China’s revised Religions Affairs Regulations went into effect on Feb. 1, paving the way for stricter government control over religion, the unnamed Christian fears Zhou may be prosecuted and urges the international media to closely follow this story.
ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by Zhou and Shi, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.