By BosNewsLife News Center
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- Chinese police forces raided a house church in Hubei province Friday, July 21, and detained over 20 Christians, fellow believers said.
China Aid Association, a religious rights group with maintains close contacts with the house church, quoted eyewitnesses and family members as saying the raid happened when 43 Christians gathered for fellowship in Shen Fan village.
"Six policemen from the local police station in [the regional] Chen Dian township, two of them plain-clothed, searched the house, confiscated the Christian books, and took 20 of the service participants to the Chen Dian police station," CAA told BosNewsLife in a statement.
While some Christians were released nearly five hours after the raid, others were taken to the Public Security Bureau in nearby An Lu City, CAA said. They were reportedly were sentenced for up to 15 days of detention by police.
MEN, WOMEN DETAINED
The detained Christians were identified as men Sun Yaozhou, He Luohua, Wang Dayouп, Fang Aiwen, and women Huang Zhiying, Fang Mingzhen, Hu Yuzhen and Zhang Jianfang. The latest raid came shortly after another house church in Henan province was allegedly raided by Chinese police.
"On Wednesday, July, 19, a house church at Guo village in Henan province was raided while having a Christian worship service…," CAA said. The group added that Public Security Bureau officials from nearby Zhu Ma Dian city arrested over house church Christians who “were interrogated for several hours” before being released later that day.
Chinese authorities have denied human rights abuses and say the country’s estimated 80-million Christians are free to worship in the official, government backed, denominations. However most of the Christians prefer to worship in the 'underground' house churches which they claim are more focused on Christ as the Communist government intervenes in the official churches. (With BosNewsLife Research and reports from China).
Copyright 2006 BosNewsLife. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without our prior written consent.