Sichuan Authorities in China Arrest 100 Christians Without Reason
In a release by Christian Newswire, around 100 leaders and seminary students from Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan were arrested between the night of Dec. 9 and the morning of Dec. 11.
Among the arrested are Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, Jiang Rong, who were seen being taken away after those who attend their church could not find them. Another two, Guo Hai and his wife, were forced to leave their two children at home unattended when police took them into custody.
Others had their homes raided. One church elder, Qin Defu, was forced to the ground as police inspected his residence.
The situation began at 6:00 p.m. China Standard Time (hereafter referred to as CST) when police seized a Christian at the entrance of the church and a multitude of officers searched his place.
Additionally, authorities shut off power to the home of church members Song Enguang and his wife. The police stationed downstairs also took three Christians, who attempted to visit them during the ordeal.
As this happened, officials stationed many vehicles outside the entrance to the church and broke in.
The officers carrying out the arrests reportedly exhibited rude behavior. When the Christians asked why they were being taken away without warrants, one of the officers replied, “We are enforcing laws. Our process is to summon litigants and require them to cooperate with the investigation. you all should follow our process … What else am I supposed to tell you? You are not supposed to know some details, so you can never know. It is us rather than you who enforce laws.”
An incomplete list of those arrested includes: Jiang Ruolin, Ge Yingfeng, Zhu Hong, Xiao Hongliu, Ye Yin, Zhang Jianqing, Liu Yingxiu, Assistant Deacon Zhang Guoqing, Elder Su and his wife, Xiao Yingshan and his spouse, Song Engquang and his spouse, Xiao Baoguang, Zhou Xiaojuan, Liu Daxuan, and Zhou Yong.
The arrests continued into Dec. 11, when Li Yingqiang, who went into hiding and became the one contact available to speak to the press, was arrested. A prayer letter released by the church states that at least three Christians who have been freed were raped by the police.
“The massive overnight attack against members of the independent, renowned Early Rain Covenant Church represents a major escalation of religious persecution in China,” said Dr. Bob Fu, ChinaAid’s founder and president and a close friend of Pastor Wang. “Ironically this largest scale of arrests and clamp down on the international Human Rights Day shows Xi’s regime deliberately making itself the enemy of universal values, such as religious freedom for all. ChinaAid calls upon the international community to condemn these arbitrary arrests of innocent religious believers and urges the Chinese regime for their immediate release.”