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World News

At least three Chinese churches are raided, with multiple leaders being arrested

by Alex Collett

International Christian Concern (ICC) have reported that multiple house churches across China have fallen victim to raids by authorities, with leaders taken away for trumped charges.

Raids took place in Changchun city's House of Light Church, Nujiang Ethnic Nu Christians, Linfen Holy Covenant Church and Xi'an Abundant Church.

The latest series of crackdowns comes a week after Chengdu-based Early Rain Covenant Church and Beijing Zion Church saw their members arrested during a Sunday service. 

It is unclear why Beijing intensified its crackdown on house churches.

Father Francis Liu from the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness shared with ICC, "Just like what the newly elected president of the Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics, Beijing Archbishop Joseph Li Shan, said, 'The church authority needs to submit to the [Chinese Communist Party] regime; one must listen to the party.' This latest round of persecution seeks to strictly control people's thoughts."

According to Liu, the churches that were raided mostly follow reformed tradition, which stresses the church's independence, whereas some evangelical or charismatic house churches he knows firmly advocate for patriotism. 

Pastor Lian Chang-Nian and his wife Guo Jiuju, his son pastor Lian Xuliang and wife Zhang Jun along with their 9-year-old son, preacher Fu Juan, and sister Xing Aiping from Xi'an's Abundant Church, on 17th August 2022, were taken to Shilipu police station after their homes were raided.

On the 19th August 2022, 70 members of Linfen Holy Covenant Church in Shanxi province were enjoying an outdoor family camp, when 170 police officers raided the location and suppressed church coworkers Li Jie and Han Xiaodong. Everyone was searched and had his or her cell phone confiscated and no one was spared from being led away by the police.

The families of ethnic Nu Christians Wang Shunping and Nu Sangdeng, on 19th August 2022, received criminal detention notices of the two Christian men. Wang and Nu were detained for "allegedly organizing and sponsoring illegal gathering" by Fugong County's Public Security Bureau in Nujiang Prefecture.

On 21st Aug. 2022, the House of Light Church in Jilin province's Changchun was raided by police during its Sunday worship. The authorities dispersed everyone before taking pastor Zhang Yong (aka Guo Muyun), elder Qu Hongliang, and brother Zhang Liangliang away. 

Due to the violent nature of the raid, two female members suffered heart attacks and an ambulance was called.

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