Worshipper’s ribs broken as police forcibly shut down church in China

6 May 2020

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A church member had two ribs broken when 100 police forced their way into an unofficial “house church” service in Fujian province on Sunday 3 May to shut it down.

Dramatic video footage shows police surging through the door of a private flat in Xiamen city and removing by force members of Xingguang Church, despite appeals for calm by Christian leaders. Children can be heard screaming as worshippers are wrestled to the floor by police.

A Christian leader holds up his hands asking for calm as police force their way into the house church service

About 20 Christians were at the service and several bravely carried on singing the hymn Amazing Grace as the police began seizing mobile phones. Six Christian men detained by the police were released later that day.

A Christian mother holds her terrified child close while the police swarm into the private worship service

Last month authorities arrested Pastor Zhao Huaiguo of Bethel Church in Hunan province, accusing him of “inciting subversion of state power”. Both Bethel Church and Xingguang Church have been subject to growing pressure and harassment for refusing to register with the state-sanctioned “three-self” association.

Children can be heard screaming in the video footage as police wrestle a Christian man to the floor

The continuing crackdown on the Church by the Chinese authorities has seen hundreds of house churches and official, state-sanctioned “three-self” churches shut down. Increasingly repressive measures have included the arrest and imprisonment of pastors, the installation of surveillance cameras inside churches and the removal of religious symbols and texts from display.

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