(Christian Solidarity Worldwide) — Authorities in China’s Xiamen shut down a Sunday service at Xingguang Church on May 3, injuring several church members and damaging property during the process.
Witnesses report that police violently dispersed church members, removing those who resisted by force. One church member sustained several significant injuries, including two fractured ribs.
Police also confiscated members’ mobile phones and broke a window and door lock as they forced their way into the service venue. Church members chanted “illegal” as the police interrupted the service. Several church members detained by the police were released later the same day.
Those familiar with the case say the church, which is an unregistered “house” church, has come under increasing pressure to join the state-sanctioned Three Self Patriotic Association. Across China, government authorities continue to force unregistered churches and other religious communities to either join the state-sanctioned associations or face permanent closure.