Jonathan Dingler of ChinaAid tells AFN that in its latest attempt to destroy any church that is not under the government's control, the Chinese Communist Party turned its focus to the Xi'an Harvest Church, a house church in Shaanxi.
"This is really just for being a normal church that doesn't operate underneath the thumb of the Chinese Communist Party," he asserts. "They were rounded up and taken to the police station, where they faced not only religious persecution, but also severe beatings, interrogations, and unlawful questioning."
On August 19, Xi’an Harvest Church was officially shut down by the Xi’an Municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs. So if the church members are released, they will have to find a new meeting place.
This, Dingler says, is just one of many instances where the government has raided, arrested, and imprisoned Christian Church members and destroyed church buildings because the people refuse to join the government's Three Self Church -- the 60,000 churches that belong to the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Three Self Patriotic Movement.
"They're standing up for their religious rights, their right to not be managed by the Chinese Communist Party, and unfortunately, they're paying the consequences of that," the ChinaAid spokesman laments. "But I believe that they're living out their faith to the fullest."
In the endeavor to expose the systematic persecution, harassment, torture, and imprisonment of Chinese Christians and human rights lawyers in China, Dingler knows the underground church and other legitimate congregations in the Asian country have felt the brunt of persecution for years. So his organization continues to call on believers to pray for their brothers and sisters in China.