In Communist China's Chongqing municipality, the Chinese Communist Party, the ruling party of China, reportedly confiscated a house church's belongings without showing any legal papers of justification.
According to The Christian Post, more than 30 individuals, including local police, local Communist Party officials and "state security" officials, came in trucks to haul away all of the church's property against the church's will. Officials did this immediately after the worship service in the house church concluded.
According to International Christian Concern, the raid was run by the Yuzhong District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau. The bureau is reported to have sealed off the church, kicking all the residents off the property, just days before returning to forcefully take the church's property. Additionally, several pastors were brought to the police station.
"Yuzhong District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau led more than 30 personnel from the police, state security, and local district offices to raid [the church] in Chongqing. They sent the members home and sealed the church without showing any legal documents. Pastor Zhu Dong and several leaders were brought to the police station. On March 24, the same group descended on the church again without any proper document and removed the church's property, including chairs and books," International Christian Concern reported.
This is the same house church whose reform school was harassed by Chinese Communist Party officials in 2018. At the time, some of the teachers were also jailed and "questioned" by communist party officials.
The Christian Post reports that religious restrictions have reached new highs in the communist country.
According to Pew Research Center, China continues to have "the highest score on the Government Restrictions Index out of all 198 countries and territories in the study.”
Christian persecution, however, has also been ramping up in Africa and the Middle East.
The Pew report went on to state that "China has been near the top of the list of most restrictive governments in each year since the inception of the [Government Restrictions Index], and in 2018 it reached a new peak in its score (9.3 out of 10). The Chinese government restricts religion in a variety of ways, including banning entire religious groups (such as the Falun Gong movement and several Christian groups), prohibiting certain religious practices, raiding places of worship and detaining and torturing individuals."
Photo courtesy: Chuttersnap/Unsplash
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.