Police raid Zoom’s church service, order pastor to stop preaching

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A man stands in a room of a house church in Puyang, central China’s Henan Province, August 13, 2018. |

Police officers and Chinese Communist Party officials raided a church in Guangdong province, which advocates for justice in China, while its pastor and elder ran an online worship service on Zoom, forcing the two to stop preaching.

Security guards, police and other officials surrounded the Shenzhen Trinity Gospel Harvest Church in Shenzhen City and forced Pastor Mao Zhibin and Elder Chu Yanqing to stop preaching, the US group China Aid reported.

The incident took place earlier on July 11, about three months after church member Shi Minglei, also known as Hope, fled to the United States. Hope was also attending the online service which was raided.

Pastor Mao and Elder Shen Ling also recently signed “A Joint Pastors’ Declaration: A Declaration for the Sake of the Christian Faith,” led by the heavily persecuted Pastor Wang Yi of the Early Rain Covenant Church.

In April, several members of the Early Rain Covenant Church were arrested for attending an Easter church service on Zoom and ordered to cease all religious activity.

The persecution monitoring group International Christian Concern reported at the time that Christians were participating in a Zoom worship service from their homes on Easter Sunday when six leaders were arrested and detained by the Public Security Bureau.

The 5,000-member Sichuan House Church has been unable to meet in person since the Communist regime closed the church in 2018 and arrested their pastor and other leaders. He has since opted for online collection.

“At that time, I was also in the Zoom call, but there was a long time that I didn’t hear anything,” said an ERCC member. “At first I thought it was a problem with the network connection, but soon I heard a quarrel break out. Our colleague Wang Jun questioned some people, [saying], ‘Who are you to do that [to us]? ‘”

Open Doors USA, which monitors the persecution in more than 60 countries, estimates that there are approximately 97 million Christians in China, a large percentage of whom worship in what China considers “illegal” and not “illegal” underground house churches. recorded.

Chinese authorities are also continuing their crackdown on Christianity by removing Bible apps and Christian WeChat public accounts as new, severely restrictive administrative measures on religious personnel came into effect this year.

China is ranked on Open Doors USA’s global watch list as one of the worst countries in the world for persecuting Christians.

The country has also been called by the US State Department a “country of particular concern” for “continuing to engage in particularly serious violations of religious freedom.”

Chinese authorities are also continuing their crackdown on Christianity by removing Bible apps and Christian WeChat public accounts as new, severely restrictive administrative measures on religious personnel came into effect this year.

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