There shall be no other religion than the worship of the state in #China
Undercover police and #Chinese
government officials raided a church in #Henanprovince
Sunday where they seized worshipers' cellphones and iPads as they were being arrested. "Some were undercover cops, and others wore a uniform," a worshiper who wasn't named told ChinaAid, a #Texas
-based nonprofit group that documents #Christian
persecution in China. "They snapped pictures while bursting in. Then, they cut off the service." The raid occurred at a mourning gathering at a church in #Zhumadian
. Several of the more than 20 Christians worshiping there were taken into custody. "They attempted to grab Sister Sang's iPad and cellphone without showing their IDs. Sister Sang said, 'This is my personal stuff.' They ignored her and continued to seize our stuff. Brother Qian witnessed this and took over the iPad and cellphone. Officers immediately targeted Brother Qian, and he was immediately under their control because he did not resist," another person who was at the church on Sunday said.
The officers, working for China's central #Communist
government, are said to have pushed a woman to the ground during the arrests, and knocked a child off a chair.
The arrested Christians were taken to the #Xiyuan
Police Station, where they asked Lü Guang, the associate director of the religious affairs bureau: "What crime did we commit? Why did you take away our friends?" Sister Sang further demanded, "We are Chinese citizens and have #freedomofreligion
. Why do you keep track of our personal information?" The believers were reportedly told that while they do have religious freedom, they must submit to the authority of the government and only meet at approved venues.
Some of the Christians who were at the church said the officials had also threatened their jobs, their security, and even their lives.
Underground churches have been heavily targeted for years in China, though the Communist government has also been demolishing fully registered churches as well, taking down rooftop crosses and arresting believers. 🖐🏾More in comments👇🏾