(Bitter Winter) — “Hurry up! Get inside!” police officers were shouting outside Le’en House Church’s meeting venue in the Tianhe district of Guangzhou, the capital of the southern province of Guangdong, on Aug. 11, 2019. Members of the congregation inside were blocking the door, trying to prevent more than 30 officers from entering. They soon stormed in, pushing hard one of the believers who was guarding the entrance, fracturing his hand as a result.
Holding a copy of the new Regulations on Religious Affairs, one of the officers informed the congregation that someone had reported them as “a xie jiao holding illegal meetings.” After registering all their identity information, the police kicked all believers out of the church.
Minutes before the attack, while over 50 believers were attending the Sunday service, the power inside the church suddenly went off. A congregation member went outside to check what was happening and noticed officers getting ready to raid the venue.
As they later learned, the local Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau, together with the sub-district office and the police, organized the operation.