Christian persecution in China: home Bible study raided, at least a dozen people detained

Monday, March 22, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Authorities from the civil affairs bureau and police force in China’s Guizhou province raided a Protestant home Bible study Tuesday morning, reportedly detaining at least 12 people for questioning, Radio Free Asia reports. The Bible study was being attended by members of the Ren'ai Reformed Church, whose pastor Zhang Chulei was one of the first church leaders to sign the declaration of Christian faith initiated by jailed pastor Wang Yi.

"More than a dozen of our brothers and sisters were taken away [by police]," an RFA source named Huang said. Pastor Chulei was himself arrested after attending the police station on Tuesday afternoon to inquire after his congregation members, RFA added.

According to the RFA report, Chulei had been under surveillance by state security police and had been banned from engaging in religious activity, including contact with other church members.

Another RFA source called Li said the exact reason for Tuesday’s raid was not known, although Peking defines “house church” in very strict terms. "As far as we can tell, the [CCP's] United Front Work Department and the secret agencies of the Chinese government have their own definition of what can be called a house church in China," Li told AFP. "They think it should refer to a family gathering with only relatives present," he said.

The US Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors currently rates China’s level of persecution as “Very High.”