Date: September 17, 2021
|Taiyuan Pingyang Road Police Station and Pingyangjingyuan Community Business Center
posted large slogans encouraging report of “illegal religious activities.”
Photo: ChinaAid resource)
(Taiyuan, Shanxi Province—September 17, 2021) Recently, Taiyuan Pingyang Road police officers and Pingyangjingyuan Community Business Center officials posted large slogans on a window, stating: "Report illegal religious activities and receive a cash reward up to ¥2,000 (310 United States Dollars). Call: 110 or 12345.”
In recent years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) escalated its persecution against house Churches refusing to compromise their faith, join Three-self Churches or register with the State's Religious Affairs Bureau. The Religious Affairs Bureau, Public Security Department, national security agents, as well as sub-district offices performed a series of joint actions to persecute house Churches. This includes threatening, forcibly expelling individuals through landlords, conducting raids and arrests, imposing large fines, fabricating charges, inciting people to report on each other, etc. While Shanxi Province has benefited from Christianity in the past, more than 100 years ago in the year of Gengzi (1900), Boxers, government troops and authorities massacred many missionaries and Chinese Christians. In recent years, the CCP officials in the province have enforced more and more religious persecution cases. On August 15, 2020, CCP authorities beat and arrested nine Christians and an unborn baby in Nankaishe village (in Fenyang) while they commemorated missionaries martyred during the 1900 Gengzi massacre. On September 12, 2020, Yuncheng, Yanhu District authorities sent more than 100 people and three excavators to forcibly demolish tombs of missionaries from “Swedish Mission in China.” They destroyed the nearby photo exhibition room and planted trees overnight on the ruins.
On December 3, 2020, CCP authorities destroyed missionaries’ tombs in Xinzhou, a rural, abandoned area, where Church members had buried eight foreign missionaries, and more than 40 Chinese Christians. Local Christians, however, had just renovated the area one month before the demolition.
On December 28, 2020, CCP authorities also forcibly demolished missionaries’ tombs in Daning County where Christians had buried five missionaries from “China Inland Mission.” Three had been killed in the 1900 Gengzi Massacre, whereas 13 martyrs had been buried in Xiayuan Village of Shuozhou.
On November 15, 2020, police officers raided Taiyuan Xuncheng Reformed Church during the Sunday service. Officers transported eight Christians to the local police station and held them there until after 10 pm. In the evening of December 30, police officers again raided the Church's Bible study and arrested six Christians. After officers detained these individuals for 24 hours, they ordered An Yankui to serve a15-day administrative detention. In addition, officials disconnected the Church’s water and power, as well as forcibly changed the locks. On January 7, police raided Wenshui Church during a gathering. Later, officials raided the Church two more times.
On March 1, police officers raided Chengguan Church (in Fenyang) during a co-workers' meeting. Officers took away the church’s books of accounts, and the family’s books and personal possessions. When challenged about the illegal invasion, a police officer responded:” Yes, we are invading your Church, so what?”On March 21, police officers raided Xiying church (in Jiaocheng county). Officers transported Christians there, mostly elderly people to their station and detained them until midnight. On May 17, at 7am, authorities arrested Zhao Weikai, a Christian, in his home, and searched his property. Because he homeschooled his children, officials issued a15-day administrative detention based on Article 27 of the “Public Security Administration Punishments Law.” Officials released Brother Zhao on June 1, however, officials failed to provide any documents. Although he submitted an administrative appeal in Fenyang Court, officials denied this, reportedly for "no evidence." On July 7, CCP authorities called and asked that he meet with them at the Wenshui Public Security Bureau. There, they criminally detained him, claiming they found materials promoting terrorism and extremism on his computer hard drive. When Brother Zhao's lawyer arrived at Fangshan County Detention center where he had been transferred, a detention guard directed him to wait outside.
On July 13, 2021, police officers raided brother Zhang Ligong’s home in Fenyang, and administratively detained him. On July 28, the scheduled day for his release. Brother Wang Runyun and Zhang Yaowen traveled to the detention center to pick him up. Police officers, however, criminally detained them under the fabricated charge of “illegally crossing the border.” A police officer phoned Brother Wang Shiqiang, at home with his wife and their three-month-old baby, requesting that he sign a document at the detention center. When he arrived, however, officials also detained him. Brother Song Shoushan retired from the Church as a preacher two years ago. Church leaders in a Wenshui Church invited him to preach and baptize Christians. During his sermon, a police officer phoned and "invited" him to meet with officers at Xiying Police Station. When he arrived, police officers detained him.
According to family members of these five Christians, authorities have repeatedly asked them to join the Three-self Church. These Christians refused and stood firm in their faith. As a result, although each Christian had obtained their passports legally the year before, officials charged them with the fabricated indictment of “illegally crossing the border.” On August 7, 2021, CCP officials arrested nine co-workers from Linfen Golden Lampstand Church. Pastor An said: "Government leaders have admitted many times that they want to 'Confine the Exercise of Power Within an Institutional Cage.'" Their power appears endless as they actively confine people in cages. They actively exercise a series of actions beyond the rule of law. These actions may be their intentional show; or perhaps these actions are continuing to shape the characteristics of China and Chinese people. God has called many of us as Chinese Christians to bear our cross, and even endure these fabricated charges to change China, Shanxi, the land where we live... where people need Christianity. Those authorities who performed massive arrests also need to know God. They need to know about Heaven, eternal life, and God’s people. Jesus Christ showed us the way of the cross. I pray that God gives us faith and strength... that He helps us reconfirm and respond to His calling. As God directs the show, how should we perform in it? Sometimes, we do not know. But God told us to obey Him. In the past, I thought the martyrs’ blood shed more than 120 years ago sufficiently defined the land of Shanxi. I never thought that we are also involved in the show.
Today, [as we follow His directives in the show] we pray, "God, please help us....”
~ Yu Bing, ChinaAid Special Reporter
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”
~ Psalm 30:10 (NKJV)
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