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June 7, 2011

Arrest of Shouwang Christians and Other Believers Relentless

Screen shot 2011-06-07 at 1.53.07 PM Christians in China are under a lot of scrutiny and pressure from governing authorities.  Our friends at China Aid have been doing stellar coverage on what has been happening with the Shouwang Church.  Here's a snip from part of today's blog post:

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Police yesterday arrested 20 more members of the Christian Shouwang church, when they tried to pray together in an outdoor square in Beijing. There is an ongoing harsh repression against members of the 'house' churches in the country, with arrests of leaders and persecution against the followers.

Shouwang's faithful have gathered in the public square to pray every Sunday, since April 10, after the authorities threw them out of rented premises where they had been meeting. In recent years, on other occasions the police moved them on from premises and believers had been forced to pray on the streets. This time the police every Sunday, including Easter, have arrested all those who pray in the streets, including children as young as a few years old and the elderly over 70 years.

Pastor Jin Tianming, founder of the church, who has been under house arrest for nine weeks, says the police have detained hundreds of them. Before June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, dozens of the faithful were summoned by police and threatened or placed under house arrest for several days to avoid protests and public prayers.

Police persecution has also targeted the personal lives of some followers, with threats of losing their jobs, and it is getting results. Jin said that four leaders of the church, including a pastor and two deacons, have distanced themselves from the decision to meet to pray in the streets. In a letter to the faithful, Jin said that "our colleague’s departure has shaken the whole Church, like an earthquake." But he also insisted that the Church, which has about 1,000 followers and is one of the biggest "house" churches, remain firm.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in China.  Click here to read the full report at China Aid.