Chinese Authorities Break Into Church for Third Time, Arrest Over 30 Churchgoers

Church in China
A local resident rides a bicycle past a church in Xiaoshan, a commercial suburb of Hangzhou, the capital of China's east Zhejiang province December 21, 2006. |

The Bible Reformed Church, a place of worship located in China's Guangdong province, again served as the target of a government break-in on Sunday.

Officials from the communist regime's Food and Drug Administration as well as some members of the police were the ones who gained entry into the church, and upon doing so made arrests and questioned churchgoers.

Government officials checked the IDs of the people who were at the church at the time. They also sealed off the refrigerator and restricted access to a storage cabinet which contained utensils.

Pastor Huang Xiaoning was among the people taken into questioning by Chinese officials during the raid, and he detailed what happened during an interview with China Aid.

According to Huang, the service on July 15 had already begun when the Chinese officials entered the church. The arrival of the police and Food and Drug Administration employees prompted him to stop the service.

Huang also had to stop talking in the middle of the interview as officials from the religious affairs bureau interrogated him.

The interrogation lasted for an hour, but while Huang was let go by the officials, he said that there were still five or six churchgoers being detained at that time.

Along with raiding the church, the officials from the Chinese government also handed Huang a "Notice Demanding Rectification," one that essentially ordered the church to halt its religious activities.

This is not the first time the Bible Reformed Church has been visited by Chinese government agents.

Chinese officials broke into the church twice last month.

The first raid took place on June 10, also a Sunday. The officials similarly interrupted a service and arrested people who were in attendance.

Less than two weeks later, officials from the municipal religious affairs bureau, district religious affairs bureau and sub-district religious affairs bureau again targeted the Bible Reformed Church to serve Huang a punishment notice, China Aid reported.

The notice said that the church had been hit with a $7,400 (50,000 Yuan) fine for conducting religious activities.

Huang is fighting the fine and demanding to get a court hearing. He has also said that he is unafraid to go up against the government.

Huang said, "I never feared imprisonment, since I never even feared death."

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