Chinese Police violently raided a house church in Xiamen city in Fujian province during Sunday worship, injuring several worshipers in the process.
At about 9 a.m., May 3, dozens of security guards and officers from the local Ethnic and Religious Bureau descended on the Sunday morning worship at Xingguang Church in Jimei district, as members sang worship songs. Without any legal documentation, calling the gathering “illegal,” according to persecution watchdog International Christian Concern.
Xingguang Church meets at a residence since they have refused to join the government-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement and is thus considered illegal by the Chinese Communist Party.
Though male church members attempted to block the door, police stormed into the room, yelling at church members while demanding them to stop recording with their cell phones.
When church members refused, police dragged several members out of the door and snatched their cell phones. In a video shared by preacher Yang Xibo from Xunsiding Church, the police can be seen pressing members’ heads down to the ground while authorities yell, “Stop filming!” to church members and neighbors who were recording the violent intrusion.
In another video shared by the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, a church member is heard shouting, “You have entered my house, you grab our cell phones, you beat up people, you intrude violently. This is not allowed!”
On Twitter, Bob Fu, president of China Aid, a nonprofit organization focused on exposing human rights violations, shared a video of authorities forcibly removing a family of three from a neighboring home after they allegedly documented the church raid on their cell phones.Bob Fu傅希秋@BobFu4China
According to Fu, a church member identified as Xu Wenping suffered a chest contusion, a rib fracture, and a bruise on his arms. Two other men and women were injured during the clash as well. Children at the scene were frightened and screamed as they witnessed the chaotic incident.
Six men were detained after the raid, and were only released at 9:00 p.m. Other church members welcomed them with applause and hugs as they stepped out of the police station.
Xingguang Church was previously raided on April 19 by government staff from five different departments. The church’s preacher, Titus Yu, received an advance notice of administrative punishment yesterday for violating several articles of the religious regulations. The notice asked him to correct his illegal act, or else his church would face disbandment as punishment.