Police raid house church and arrest nearly thirty members in China
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on the 22nd of August, the heavily persecuted house church, Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), was once again violently raided by the local authorities in Chengdu, China. Twenty-eight members from a small group were taken away during a worship service.
According to a prayer request provided by ERCC, around 10:00 a.m. on the 22nd of August, as Preacher Dai Zhichao was leading Sunday service for the “Treading Water” small group at brother He Shan’s home, police knocked on He’s door.
Once the service was finished around 11:00 a.m., the gathered Christians opened the door to a team of police officers. The police claimed that someone had reported the illegal gathering and demanded to enter to register everyone’s personal information. Preacher Dai asked them to show proper documents, yet the police ignored him and forcibly entered the home. In the process, Dai was injured on his arm, as were other men who tried to help. Dai’s cell phone was also confiscated.
Once they registered everyone’s information, the police officers went outside, where church members continued to share a meal together as they always do. The calm was only temporary.
Around 2:00 p.m., police officers from Chenghua District Mengzhuiwang office descended on He’s home and took away almost everyone present, including eighteen adults and ten children, including an infant who is not even one year old.
The names of the detained adults are as follows: Xiao Donghong, Jin Wen, Liu Xingfeng, Huang Wei, Zhang Haiyan, Xuan Bin, He Shan, Hao Guiru, Dai Zhi Chao and his wife Lu Lingzhi, Sang Ensui and his wife Lan Fali, Shu Qiong and her husband Wang Song, Tang Peng and his wife Huang Yizhen, and Niu Chuang and his wife He Ye.
An ERCC member told ICC that many people were beaten by the police in detention. When the children were rowdy, the police officers threatened to hit them on their heads.
While most of them were returned to the police officers from their respective districts and later released, Preacher Dai and brother He were put under administrative detention for fourteen days. Brother He also received a fine of 1,000 RMB ($154).