In the United States it takes a public health emergency to crack down on churches holding Easter services, but in China, that leftist paradise, it has been going on for years.
For no other reason than that the government sees Christians as a threat. Sound familiar, though?
The group International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that during an online Zoom worship session in China to celebrate Easter on April 12, several key members of the heavily persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) were removed from their homes.
The home church in Sichuan has not been able to gather in person since the government clamped down on the church on December of 2018 and arrested their pastor and others. This year, the church was conducting an online Easter worship session when six leaders were abruptly taken by the Public Security Bureau from their homes.
A member of ERCC told ICC, “At that time I was also in the Zoom call, but there was a long period of time where I did not hear a thing. I thought it’s the network connection issue at first, but I soon heard a quarrel erupt. Our coworker Wang Jun was questioning some people, [saying], ‘Who are you to do this [to us]?’”
She added that, in addition to Wang, other leaders such as Guo Haigang, Wu Wuqing, Jia Xuewei, Zhang Jianqing and Zhang Xudong were also taken away. One member’s home had its electricity cut off, while others received phone calls that “police [were] coming to visit them soon.”
A supporter of ERCC also shared on Twitter, “Since 8:30 a.m., some security officials have entered these Christian families’ homes and pretended to be chatting with them casually. At 9:30 a.m., the worship began, and they were also invited to participate. Once they realized that the sermon was from ERCC’s imprisoned pastor Wang Yi, they immediately shut it down.”
Her account was echoed by Zhang Jiangqing, who was warned by the police at his house, saying, “Don’t participate in already banned [religious] activities anymore! Don’t listen to Pastor [Wang]’s sermons anymore! If you do this again, we will deal with it seriously and take you away!”
The six briefly detained Christians have since been released, and their electricity was restored in the afternoon.