The Chinese government continues to ramp up its persecution against the Christian community, as reports have emerged of authorities interrupting seminary classes and arresting pastors without warrants. Police said that the seminary where the arrests occurred, located in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, lacked the required credentials for operating a school.
When seven police officers and several agents from the local religious affairs bureau broke into the classroom and threatened to arrest the teacher and more than 20 seminarians without giving any reason, the students pushed back. Enraged by the injustice, the class argued with the police and questioned which law allowed them to arbitrarily arrest people. That’s when Chinese authorities resorted to using force, according to China Aid.
“The police softened a little, but they still brought away Pastor Fang and Pastor Wang,” one of the students noted. Police also removed ID card information while the students continued to sing hymns. After the pastors were detained, several Christian students arrived at Shitun Police Station to press for details about their arrest. Wang and Fang were both released shortly after noon on the same day.
But these are no longer isolated incidents in China. On May 19, the landlord of Zhongzi School, which is run by Shangli Church in Xiamen, Fujian, was pressured by the government to lock their school’s gate, preventing children from bringing their parents to class. The local education departments had accused the school of lacking registration and operating illegally, but this appears to have been a fabricated accusation.
Parents and children gathered to pray at their local church, asking that God would move in power so that the school could open as normal.
“The government is still persecuting the school. I received a call from the police station, who has my household registration and came to investigate the school,” one of the church’s pastor’s said.
Landlords have repeatedly attempted to evict the school and church.
The Chinese government has continued to ramp up its blanket bans on all kinds of religious meetings — meaning no church services, no Bible studies and no prayer meetings. Not only are they banning religious events but they are calling for religious people, particularly Christians, to renounce their faith.
Wenzhou and Shaoxing, two governments in the eastern province have banned religious gatherings, stating that they are a fire hazard, and routinely work to shut down each gathering.
“The police often show up and say that they want to conduct a fire safety inspection. They wander around in the church and arbitrarily point out that some facilities do not meet the standards,” Li, a Hangzhou Christian stated. “Then, they require you to reform in two weeks. Even if you do exactly as they said, they would still deem you ‘unqualified’ in the next inspection. You are helpless.”
(H/T: China Aid)