Over 500 Christians Detained to Derail Easter in China

27 April, 2011 at 09:27 | Posted in China, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff

A police van with officers waiting inside are parked near the location where Chinese Christians from the Shouwang Church were planning to hold an Easter Sunday Mass in Beijing on April 24, 2011. At least 30 members of a Chinese evangelical church were arrested on April 24 for trying to hold an Easter service in defiance of the officially atheist government.

On Easter Sunday, Beijing police placed 500 Chinese Christians under house arrest to prevent one of the largest underground so-called “house churches” from publicly celebrating the holiday, according to China Aid Association. At least 34 church members were detained at the police station.

The rest of the congregation of Shouwang Church showed up at the designated meeting place in the city, said the rights group that seeks to draw attention to China’s human rights violations against Christians.

During the past two Sundays, police waited at the usual meeting place of the non-state sanctioned church and corralled worshipers into buses to prevent them from holding a public precession.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Chinese authorities chose to disrupt peaceful worshipers who were simply celebrating Easter today,” ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu stated.

By restricting the rights of churchgoers on Easter, the Chinese regime “again demonstrates its total disregard for Chinese citizens’ basic religious freedom and freedom of assembly,” he added.

Several Shouwang pastors and leaders have been placed under house arrest over the past several weeks leading up to Easter. China Aid said that the church’s choir was also detained.

According to China Aid, more than 60 million Christians worship in underground (sometimes literally so) “house” churches, while about 20 million belong to state-controlled organizations: the Three-Self Patriotic Movement for Protestants and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association for Catholics.

via Over 500 Christians Detained to Derail Easter in China | China | Epoch Times


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