(Bitter Winter) — For Christians, even getting together for a meal is now off-limits in China. It seems that dinners are now considered religious gatherings, which as such should be authorized.
That’s the hard lesson 11 believers from a Sola Fide house church in Xiangyang city in central China’s Hubei Province learned on March 13, 2019, the night they were arrested after having dinner together. Just as the believers were leaving the meeting venue, they were surrounded by more than 20 police officers, who rounded them up, herded them into police cars and took them down to the police station.
The officers reported they had been tipped-off, possibly by neighbors seeking a reward for having denounced an illegal religious gathering. …
At the police station, personnel from the local Religious Affairs Bureau reprimanded the believers, saying they are not allowed to hold gatherings, and much less to preach in other regions. In fact, some of them had come by bus from another county, which the government officials considered as forbidden “cross-regional preaching.”