More trouble faces China’s house churches.

By March 3, 2006

China (MNN)–Two days ago, a house church Bible School was raided by Public Security Bureau officers in Huaibei City, China. 36 were taken into custody.

According to eyewitnesses, more than fifty officers armed with electric shock batons surrounded the school. The school is run by Pastor Chu Huaiting, a well-known house church leader and vice-president of the Chinese House Church Alliance. Officers did not present a search warrant, even when requested. During the raid, ten thousand copies of Christian literature and two hundred blankets for distribution were confiscated. Among those arrested were Pastor Liu Haiting, Pastor Liang Zhenjun and Pastor Joseph Wang. Three hours later, police arrested Pastor Chu at his home.

Just three weeks earlier, Father Lu Genjun (44) and Father Guo Yanli (39) were arrested by security officials while waiting for a friend to arrive at the Baoding train station. No information on the reasons for the arrest has yet been made public.

In a country where religion has been frowned on by the government, Asia News notes that one-third of all Communist Party members belong to some type of religious organization, despite prohibitions from the Central Committee. It is estimated that ten million Party members are actively involved in religious activities.

In spite of the obvious growth of the church, the government continues their effort to eradicate the house church movement and stifle evangelistic work.

The tendency is to see arrested church leaders disappear into the prisons for further interrogation and charges.

Voice of the Martyrs Canada’s Glenn Penner is troubled. “One of the concerns that we have in China, is that the Communist government has learned that one of the most effective tactics they have of disarming public opinion, is to charge church leaders with some heinous crime.”

That’s pointing to another direction, but one that won’t stop the growth of the church in China. Penner explains, “It has a profound effect in that the most effective means of evangelism in China today is going through the house church movement.”

In fact, opines Penner, it has become fairly obvious to outside watchers that, “What the Chinese government is trying to do is to cut off the head of the house church movement by arresting prominent house church leaders.”

Pray for boldness for Christians in sharing the Gospel, despite the dangers that they face.

Leave a Reply