Date: December 6, 2018
(Xuzhou, Jiangsu—Dec. 6, 2018) Plainclothes police seized a family attending a church in China’s coastal Jiangsu province on Sunday, also confiscating their belongings.
In a prayer letter released on Dec. 2, Dao’en Church, located in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, said that police arrived at the home of church member Zhang Baoluo and took his entire family.
Zhang’s wife reported four non-uniformed officers unexpectedly escorted her husband home after he had gone out to pick up a delivery item. They entered the family’s home without permission, and when she tried to use her phone to record the encounter, one of them grabbed it and broke the screen. When she requested that they show their identification, they replied, “We can access any private property and even ask you to kneel down with your hands on your hand. You have to obey.” In the process, the authorities verbally threatened them and mocked them for believing in a so-called evil religion.
They told Zhang’s wife that they were implementing a secret task and inspected the home without showing a warrant, confiscating a Bible, a hymnal, and two notebooks without performing an inventory of the items they took.
“The enforcement process was tough and filled with rude language and violence, which exceeded my expectation,” Zhang’s wife said.
Refusing to tell the rest of the family where they were headed, two officers grabbed Zhang’s shoulders and took him away. Officials took his mother to the Tongshan District Police Station and recorded their personal information. Authorities told them they may not stay in Xuzhou, requested their lease information, and took Zhang’s mother’s belongings. His wife said she also feared they may put pressure on her landlord to evict them. After 30 minutes, they were released.
More than 100 church members arrived at the police station and the Xuzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau to inquire about Zhang Baoluo and complain about the authorities illegally enforcing the law. Zhang was released at 6:00 p.m. that day.
Similar detentions take place across China. Cao Nan, a minister from the Shenzhen Caring Center in Henan, was recently released after being held in custody for 10 days on account of his faith. He said that four other Christians were also arrested, all of whom were let go on the morning of Nov. 1. Because Henan authorities often target and ban churches, Cao suggested that Christians worship outdoors, and his church members preach on the streets every day.
ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Zhang, his family, and Cao, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.
ChinaAid Media Team
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