by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - As part of its ongoing and systematic suppression of Christianity in China, the ruling Chinese Communist Party last month arrested five Christians from Shanxi Province last because they had attended a Christian conference in Malaysia last year, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. According to ICC, Beijing is “paranoid” about Chinese Christians being in contact with believers overseas.
The five Christians arrested had traveled to Malaysia last year to attend the “KL2020 Gospel and Culture” Christian conference hosted by the prominent Chinese Indonesian pastor Stephen Tong, ICC said. The Christians had traveled to the conference and then returned to China legally on valid passports.
Those arrested are associated with the Xuncheng Reformed Church, a congregation that has been repeatedly harassed by the authorities. The church member was arrested on July 13 and imprisoned for 15 days. When two of the first believer’s church co-workers went to pick him up upon his expected release, they too were arrested on the spot. ICC said. A further three co-workers were arrested at their homes on July 28. All five Christians had traveled to Malaysia for the conference together.
At the time of the ICC report on July 29, it was not known how long the believers would be detained and their family members had not been given formal notice of their detention. In a Facebook post, Yankui requested prayer for the arrested Christians: “May God never forsake His children and continue to grant mercy to His church on the path carrying the cross,” he wrote.
Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, said in a statement: “Since the Revised Regulations on Religious Affairs took effect in February 2018, the Chinese government has added more laws seeking to curb religious activities that are not state-sanctioned. Beijing is paranoid about Chinese Christians’ interaction with Christians overseas.”