(Aksu, Xinjiang—March 20, 2012) A house church in far west China’s region of Xinjiang that has been meeting for nearly two decades was raided Sunday by police, who took more than 70 Christians into custody.
The incident happened at around 10 p.m. March 18 in a house church in Aral Shehri’s 12th Agricultural Division of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, in Aksu prefecture. The house church has been meeting for nearly 20 years, and more than 70 Christians were gathered at Pastor He Enjun’s home when suddenly more than 10 policemen and Domestic Security Protection agents burst into the room.
Announcing that the meeting was an “unapproved, illegal meeting,” they “order[ed] an immediate end to the meeting.” After forcing each Christian there to be photographed, they took them to the respective local police stations of their places of employment for questioning. Some were not released for two days.
The police also confiscated the Christian’s Bibles, hymnals, notebooks, Christian education DVDs, and other materials, but refused to provide a receipt for the confiscated items as required by law.
The pastor and his wife who were the hosts of the Sunday meeting were called into the local police station again on Monday night at about 10 p.m. for further questioning. They were threatened by the police, who ordered them to stop holding meetings in their home.
ChinaAid calls for an end to this gross interference into the religious freedom of the citizens of Xinjiang.
Source: China Aid, International Christian Concern