China: Authorities harass believers celebrating Church’s 5-year anniversary

Thursday, September 23, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Police from China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) descended on the fifth-anniversary celebration of the Shenzhen Trinity Harvest Gospel Church in Huizhou earlier this month, harassing congregants and trying to prevent them from attending the event, China Aid reports.

Shenzhen Trinity Harvest is used to harassment by the authorities, China Aid says. In recent months CCP officials raided and shut down a service, and purposefully closed off a beach to prevent baptisms.

To celebrate its fifth anniversary on September 5, the church made reservations at a hotel by the beach, China Aid said. However, State security officers had monitored the conversations between the hotel and the church, and warned congregants a day before the event that they should not attend it.

In response, church Pastor Mao Zhibin encouraged his congregation to attend, China Aid reports. “Stick with the original plan, don’t change, don’t flinch,” Pastor Zhibin told his congregation. “It is legal for us to relax and gather there, it is a citizens’ legal right and nobody should stop us from our event. Most importantly, we believe in the triune God, and we submit everything to His hand. If we pray wholeheartedly, God will hear our prayers and know our hearts.”

Nevertheless, on September 4th, the hotel suddenly refunded the church’s reservation, and refused to allow congregants to check-in, China Aid said. The next day, police descended on Huizhou beach in an apparent effort to prevent baptisms there. Moreover, the authorities blacklisted the church from all hotels in the area.

China ranks 17 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.