The leader of a house church in China’s Yunnan province who refused to join the state-sponsored church was detained for five days as his “administrative punishment” and hit with a fine amid an uptick in religious persecution by the regime.
China Aid reports that Li Chunze, the leader of a house church in Panlong District in the city of Kunming, was detained from Nov. 16 to Nov. 21 after Changqing police raided his house and accused the fellowship he attended for disturbing the order of public places.
A local believer told China Aid, “The staff from the district religious affairs bureau said that it is illegal for believers to participate in religious activities at a venue not approved by the government. Numerous police officers transported all the attendees to the police station for interrogation.”
All Christians were released except for Li, who remained in administrative detention at Kunming Municipal Detention Center for five days. He was also fined an undisclosed amount.
The house church led by Li was established about 10 years ago, with most of the members being local senior citizens. Local police and officials from the religious affairs bureau have repeatedly pressured them to join the state-sanctioned Three-Self church, to which they refused.