22 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/11/2011
CHINA
Hundreds of Christians, evicted from premises, arrested for wanting to pray in the streets
Police detain nearly 200 from the Protestant Church of Shouwang, one of the largest domestic churches. The faithful wanted to pray in the streets after being evicted from their premises. Wave of repression against the "jasmine revolution" also extends to religious groups. Many activists have become Christians.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - About 200 Christians were arrested by police in Haidian district (north of Beijing), for having gathered yesterday in a public square for Sunday service. It 's the largest operation against Christians in recent years. Christians fear the crackdown to prevent a jasmine revolution in China, has now extended to religious groups.

The faithful belong to the Protestant Church Shouwang, one of the largest house churches (not recognized) in the country with over 1000 members. Have recently been expelled from the premises of a restaurant where they had held meetings: the police forced the restaurant owner to evict the faithful. Hundreds of police patrolled the Zhongguancun area since morning and detained the faithful as they arrived to attend the church service set for 8:30 am, loading them onto waiting buses. The street liturgy was no secret: it was announced by the faithful on the Internet.

Since the evening of 9 April, the police also put under house arrest at least five pastors of the community. Among them, Pastor Jin Tianming explains that the police have asked many of those arrested not to attend the church of Shouwang. Last night only 10 people were released.

The police also detained a photographer from the New York Times, later released. Many citizens complain that the authorities turned off the mobile phone communications in the area to delay news of the arrests, which, however, immediately spread over the Internet.

"We have not violated the law - Jin protests - and there is no reason for government interference." In recent years the 18-year-old church had been harassed by the authorities and forced to move more than 20 times, but had never had so many worshippers taken away by police. The last time the church was kicked out of its place of worship, in November 2009, the church held its Sunday services in a park two weeks in a row. Jin explains that the Church had bought 1,500 square meters of office space in a commercial building for 27 million Yuan. But the owner refused to give them the keys, under pressure from the authorities, though the price has been paid. The Church has sought approval since 2006 and received no answer.

There are tens of millions of Protestant Christians in the country, mostly followers of unregistered house churches. Beijing demands that all the faithful adhere to the Three-Self Movement (Protestant all controlled by the Communist Party) but there are only 20 million Christians in the state Church, compared with more than 50 million members (though other sources say that more than 100 million) members of unofficial churches.

The episode comes a week after the arrest of the famous artist Ai Weiwei, taken by police on April 3 and who has since disappeared, his whereabouts unknown even to family members.

Since mid-February Beijing has been imposing the worst persecution since 1998, with arrests and sentencing to prison, for fear that protests could break out similar to the Jasmine Revolution taking place in North Africa and the Middle East. So far they have systematically cracked down on hundreds of rights activists and dissidents, but not religious groups. But it is true that many of those arrested were Christians. It is a known fact that among activists and dissidents a strong religious research often results in their conversion to Christianity.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/02/2011 CHINA
Fourth Sunday in a row, police arrest Shouwang Christian for praying
05/16/2011 CHINA
Persecution mounts against the Church of Shouwang
11/25/2010 CHINA
Arrests and control: only one activist in Oslo for Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel
05/09/2011 CHINA
More arrests, more persecution for Shouwang underground Christians
by Wang Zhicheng
04/12/2011 CHINA
Police look for evidence of activists and dissidents anti-state conspiracy

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.