(Bitter Winter) — As elsewhere in China, house churches in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang also suffer severe crackdowns. According to recently-received reports, from March 2019 to January of this year, 60 Protestant churches that don’t belong to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement have been closed down in the prefecture-level city of Daqing.
Among them, 32 in Lindian county, and three in Zhaozhou county. Nearly 30 venues were closed down in the first half of 2019 in Nehe, a county-level city with a population of almost 700,000.
On May 8, the police raided the Good News Church in Daqing’s Sa’ertu district, where the pastor and his wife were in a meeting with eight congregation members. The pastor was detained for 15 days for organizing “illegal gatherings” and was pressured to sign a statement promising not to engage in religious work anymore.
In April, a house church venue in the city’s Xincun district was also raided, and the police arrested its preacher and seven congregation members whose personal information was registered, and they were forced to sign statements pledging not to attend religious gatherings in the future.