By BosNewsLife Asia Service

Christians gathering for worship outside state approved churches face persecution, Christians say..

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)– Two members of the Laojie Christian Church in the village of Sangdong in China’s Henan province have been detained, just days after authorities officially banned their church for a second time, BosNewsLife learned Tuesday, August 18.

Two Christians, identified only as Guangren and Xincai apparently for security reasons, were sentenced on August 14 to 10 days of administrative detention and fines of 1,000 Yuan ($146), said China Aid Association (CAA) which has close contacts with the church.

On August 6, the Bureau of Religious and Ethnic Affairs in Xiayi County officially banned the Laojie Christian Church, declaring it “an illegal site for religious activities,” according to CAA investigators.

An earlier statement abolishing the church had been issued on June 27.

The church’s abolishment reportedly came after the Village Party Committee of Sangdong proposed the Christians to exchange their church property for another only half the size. CAA said that when the Christians asked for a more “equitable replacement”, local officials decided “to demolish” the church building.

“At approximately 8:00 p.m. on August 13, several police officers barged into the church building and arrested two men, Li Guangren and Zheng Xincai. When a member of the church was contacted by a foreign media correspondent from Radio Free Asia to verify the incident, he stated that the violations of privacy and freedom were wrongful and unjust.”

Officials, who were monitoring the call, used the interview as evidence to further detain and convict the two believers for “unlawful social activities,” rights investigators said.

Chinese authorities have denied a crackdown on Christians, saying believers are free to worship in the state-run denominations.


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