by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - In its ongoing bid to suppress Christianity in China, the Chinese communist regime last year arrested a number of believers for traveling to Malaysia to attend a conference held by well-known Chinese evangelist Tang Chongrong in 2020, Bitter Winter reported Monday.
Tang Chongrong is a respected Chinese evangelist and popular author, who also founded a ministry called International Mission, Bitter Winter reports. Tang used to preach in Hong Kong before Chinese restrictions on Christianity were introduced: tens of thousands of Chinese Christians have attended his conferences there, and have also traveled abroad to hear him preach.
According to Bitter Winter, five Christians from a house church in Fenyang Shanxi were arrested on July 28, 2021, and charged with traveling illegally to Tang’s “2020 Evangelism and Culture Conference” in Kuala Lumpur. The charges were brought despite the Christians having traveled on valid Chinese passports. They were also charged with “smuggling illegal literature” into China because they bought some of Tang’s books. The believers’ names are Zhang Ligong, Zhang Yaowen, Wang Runyun, Wang Shiqiang, and Song Shoushan.
Another two Christians were arrested in connection with Tang’s 2020 conference on November 21 and 22, 2021, Bitter Winter reports. Yankui and Zhang Chenghao from the Shanxi Hui Cheng Reformed Church were detained by the Luliang County Public Security Bureau in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, and were charged with the same offenses as the five believers who were charged on July 28 last year. They, too, had traveled to Malaysia on valid Chinese passports.
In its report Bitter Winter attested: “These arrests highlight the impunity of the Chinese government in its efforts to transform Christianity into a tool of the state and are yet another instance in a very long series of the persecution of Christians in China by governing officials.”
China ranks 17 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.