Persecution of Shouwang Church Members Continues for Fifth Sunday
(Beijing – May 8, 2011) The church-state confrontation between one of Beijing’s largest house churches and the Chinese authorities continued for a fifth straight Sunday, with police detaining at least 13 members of Shouwang Church who attempted to congregate to hold an outdoor worship service, as well as at least one Christian from another house church who turned up at the designated outdoor meeting site in a show of solidarity.
Authorities also continued employing another tactic they had started using just days after the first Shouwang outdoor worship attempt on April 10: rendering church members homeless by pressuring their landlords to evict them.
ChinaAid sources also reported that, as in past weeks, many Shouwang families were confined to their homes and not allowed to go to the designated meeting site in Zhongguancun, in northwest Beijing’s Haidian district.
At 6:40 a.m., one Shouwang family living in the Xinyuanli neighborhood of northern Beijing was visited by their landlord, who told them they had to move out immediately, sources told ChinaAid.
At 8:06 a.m., Haidian district police detained four Shouwang members: Song Fengyun, Auntie Feng, Brother Zeng (last name) and Zhang Junying (female).
At 9:04 a.m., Shouwang members Huang Youchang (male) and Xia Xiaoqiu (female) were taken away in a police vehicle, still worshipping.
Later in the morning, church members Guo Liping and Ma Liang were in transit on a bus used by police to transport detainees.
By late morning, Shouwang member Jin Huisu was being held at the Zhongguancun Avenue police station; Huang Danyi at the Malianwa police station, and Hu Jian, Qiu Wenfeng and Wang Hong were detained at the Dongsheng police station.
Sun Yan, a woman who is a member of the New Tree House Church who showed up to worship with the Shouwang church members, was also put into a police vehicle. New Tree’s pastor was detained last week and interrogated when he arrived at the Shouwang outdoor meeting site in a show of support.
ChinaAid calls for prayer for the evicted family, that they might find a place to stay in the Xinyuanli area quickly.
“Jesus when he dwelled on this earth had no pillow for his head, but his incomparable love to die on the Cross for our sins has conquered the whole world, including even the persecutors themselves,” a ChinaAid spokesman said.