(Bitter Winter) — From September to Dec. 1 last year, at least 15 charismatic house church venues in Zaozhuang, a prefecture-level city in the eastern province of Shandong, were subjected to crackdowns, resulting in congregations being dispersed.
A meeting venue in the city’s Taierzhuang district was cleared out in early November. According to a congregation member, six police officers raided the venue and forcibly tore down religious paintings. They put furniture and other church valuables on a truck and took them away for burning.
Local government officials closed down a meeting venue in Zhangfan town, administered by Zaozhuang’s Xuecheng district, threatening to arrest and imprison believers and impose fines up to 50,000 RMB (about $ 7,000) if they continued congregating.
In late October last year, officials from the Pingdingshan city’s Weidong district in the central province of Henan stormed into a house church venue, smashing down its door. They then confiscated religious books and other items and closed down the venue.