The Abeka Academy in Suzhou and a private school in Zhenjiang were the target. Dozens of people were arrested, including children and parents. Last month, the police took action against a Christian music school in Harbin. The government is cracking down on after-school courses.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – Police in Jiangsu made a series of arrests in connection with the activities of two Christian educational institutions, ChinaAid reports.
This points to a growing and coordinated effort by the government to crack down on Christian educational programmes.
On Tuesday, police in Suzhou arrested five representatives of the Abeka Academy, including the director of the Chinese branch Wang Jian.
Affiliated with the Pensacola Christian College in the United States, the academy offers home schooling courses around the world. The books provided by the Abeka Academy are based on the teachings of the Bible.
According to ChinaAid, local authorities deem the academy's programme a violation of Article 24 of the Chinese Constitution. The fact that it is very popular among Chinese Christians is what prompted the police intervention.
The day after the raid, police also moved against a Christian school in Zhenjiang. Officers took 10 children, three teachers and three parents into custody. The pupils were released immediately, but as of last Thursday, nothing was known of the other detainees.
A similar action took place last month in Harbin (Heilongjiang) when police arrested all the staff and several students of the Maizi Higher Institute, a Christian music school. The school principal was among the people detained.
Since last spring, the authorities have imposed limits on private schools that offer after-school courses, a business worth US$ 118 billion in 2019, expected to grow to US$ 151 billion in 2025.