A pastor and three members of Shengjia Church are charged with running ‘illegal business operations’
Christians pray in a church in a village near China's capital Beijing on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. (Photo: Jade Gao/AFP/Gettty Images)
A protestant house church in southern China's Guangdong province has sought prayers for the release of a pastor and three others arrested more than a month ago for alleged “illegal business operations.”
Shengjia Church in Shunde of Guangdong said the pastor Deng Yanxiang and his three co-workers are innocent people.
“They are innocent. They are kind, loving, and honest people. They actively participate in public service. They are well respected among colleagues and neighbors. They have a very good reputation,” the church said in prayer notice, ChinaAid reported.
“Law enforcement imposed huge social harm by arresting people without discerning between good and bad,” it added.
The appeal for prayer comes as security forces charged the four with a criminal offense of running illegal business operations.
They were arrested after a raid on the church and adjacent center that offered schooling facilities, on May 24.
Several dozen police, national security agents, staff of the religious affairs bureau, and the community management office conducted the raid, ChinaAid reported.
Security forces searched the whole center and confiscated all educational equipment.
They were denied release despite the 30-day criminal detention in Foshan City Nanhai District Detention Center.
Little Hu, the wife of Zhu Longjiang, one of the arrested Christians, said that she and other families have asked for prayers for their release.
“My husband, Zhu Longjiang, is a devout Christian,” she wrote on social media, according to ChinaAid
“We pray for justice, and hope that Guangdong Province Foshan City Shunde District Bureau of Public Security will release my husband soon so that he can serve his parents!”
According to her post, Zhu’s parents need constant care, and they miss their son.
Wang Weicai’s wife questioned the charges in her prayer request.
“He is always devout and loves the Lord and actively helps brothers and sisters. How does he suddenly become a criminal?”
Such arrest and harassment of Christians is common in communist China where religions and religious activities are strictly monitored and controlled by repressive state policies and laws.
Religious groups are required to pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through seven state-sanctioned bodies that oversee the affairs of organized religions in the country.
Right monitors rank China among the worst offenders of religious freedom in the world.
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