China: Officials break into Fujian churches


Date:                    August 25, 2019


Officials at Xinzao Church.
(Photo: ChinaAid)

(Xiamen, Fujian—Aug. 25, 2019) Officials in China’s Fujian province continue to persecute churches, breaking into the meeting places of Xingguang Church and Xinzao Church in Xiamen.

According to Xingguang Church attendees, multiple officers broke into one of the church’s locations on Aug. 19, which was being remodeled at the time. The Christians gathered there asked the officials to show their IDs and inspection papers, but they weren’t able to produce any documents. However, they continued to measure and inspect the building and even broke a Christian man’s cell phone. Congregants said that it was the second time the officials have raided the church.

Likewise, those who attended Xinzao Church also requested that officials show identification, but they could not produce it. The officials claimed that it was a public space, even though the property is owned privately by the Christians. The police covered their badge numbers and asked a property management employee to join them in the inspection. Officers forbade the church members from photographing the situation, and one official said, “Don’t ask who we are. We enforce laws normally. Don’t obstruct me.”

The same official asked the owner of the property why they were taking pictures, to which the owner replied, “I am a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, and you forcibly broke into private property without consent, so I have the right to take pictures.”

Officials at Xinzao Church.
(Photo: ChinaAid)
On June 25, the authorities claimed that Xinzao Church Pastor Wang Tianmin used the church as a
religious venue without authorization and organized and held religious events in violation of the Regulations on Religious Affairs. Subsequently, authorities called for all religious activities to be stopped. They said if the church disagreed with their decision, they could submit an application for administrative reconsideration to the Huli District Government or the Xiamen Municipal Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau within 60 days of receiving a penalty decision document.

Two days later, multiple government departments ordered firefighters to break into the church, interrupting a Bible study.

Pastor Wang said, “We are following legal protocol, and our only purpose is to show our stance and testify to the Gospel, regardless of whether we win or lose the case. Please pray for us.”
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