Nearly 50 more members, including 11 kids, of a Chinese megachurch closed down by the communist government in December were arrested at two different venues last Sunday, a watchdog group has reported.
Following the closing of Chengdu’s Early Rain Covenant Church and the arrest of its pastor, Wang Yi, on Dec. 9 for “inciting subversion of state power,” government actors are continuing to harass members of the congregation as they gather for worship inside of homes.
According to an update from the church, multiple homes that were hosting prayer gatherings on Feb. 24 were surrounded by police officers who ultimately interrupted the proceedings. At two of the home church services, every person in attendance was detained.
China Aid founder Bob Fu, a well-respected human rights activist who has on a number of occasions testified before Congress, tweeted that at least 11 of those who were arrested in Chengdu received a punishment of 10 to 14 days “administrative detention.”
“Arbitrary arrest continues,” Fu stressed. “Walk with the these Persecuted.”
There were reports of children, the elderly and even a pregnant woman being mistreated. Pastor Wang’s elderly mother was reportedly insulted and beaten.
According to a statement released by the church, two Christians who were arrested were “violently beaten.”
“Tang Chunliang and his wife were hit in the face by a plainclothes police officer at the police station,” the update reads. “Some, including children, did not eat anything. Some were not released until 2:00 a.m. Tired children slept on ice-cold tables and floors. Others were not released until 6:00 a.m.”
On Saturday, two more churchgoers were arrested when they went to the Chengdu Police Station to visit their detained friends.
“They were then taken to the Taisheng Road Police Station, where they were locked up and interrogated,” a March 2 statement from the church reads. “At 2:00 p.m., while being interrogated, they were personally humiliated, abused, and violently beaten by seven to eight police officers from the Chengdu Taisheng Road Police Station. They were detained for nearly eight hours.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith