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Christian pastor detained without reason in PRC

China police

In August, house church pastor of the New Life Christian Church, Park Kwang-Zhe was detained by local police force in Shibu town.

In August, the house church pastor of the New Life Christian Church, Park Kwang-Zhe was detained by the local police force in Shibu town. The Chinese Communist Party in the past or currently needs proof of guilt in order to arrest Christian pastors.

Article 27(2) of the Public Security Law was the provision enforced, which is used to punish those who “disturbing the social order… in the name of any religion or Qigong.”. This article is problematic enough, but Article 27(1) of the Public Security Law takes a step further as it punishes the activities of banned religious groups known as xie jiao, which includes religious groups the Chinese Communist Party deemed dangerous and hostile.

House church members complained that under Article 27(2), everything can mean “disturbing the social order”. With this, police can detain their pasters and devotees without any real reason. As police officers explained, even just being active in any form of “illegal” religious activities, just as house churches not part of the party and government-controlled Three Self-Church, already “disturbs the social order”.

Pastor Park can be administratively detained until August 23. However, it does not necessarily mean that the hardships for Pastor Park are over. In recent cases, many house church pastors who were detained were asked to pay an enormous fine at the end of their 15-day detention. If they are unable to pay the fine, they are detained for another 15 days and so forth. This was the case with Pastor An Yankui and co-worker Zhang Chenghao of Taiyuan’s City of God Reformed Church on August 10. They had been under arrest in 2022, then released and detained again. These constant detentions and the “further investigations” against detained pastors can lead to formal arrest and trial. This seems to be one of the instruments of the Chinese Communist Party to crack down on house churches in order to persuade them to join the Three Self-Church or be banned.

Dániel Mórocz


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