Christians Once Arrested for Belief Become Key Targets of Surveillance

ADHRRF – In the early March 2018, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) conducted a new round of inspection and surveillance of Christians from The Church of Almighty God through methods of drop-in interrogation, summoning, taking photos and fingerprints, arrest and so on. Among those inspected, some Christians who had ever been arrested became the authorities’ key targets of surveillance. Many Christians and their family have suffered harassment, surveillance and persecution from the police.

Below are the related reports collated by reporters about the police’s monitoring and arrest of Christians from The Church of Almighty God in March 2018 in Wuhu City, Anhui Province:

1. A Christian Was Forced to Leave Home and Go Into Hiding.

On December 25, 2012, An Ping (alias, female, 36) was charged with “illegal preaching and disturbing public order” and was illegally detained in a detention center in Wuhu City for 10 days. Since she was released on January 5, 2013, she has been targeted and kept under surveillance by the local police station.

On the morning of March 9, 2018, between 10 and 11 a.m., four policemen from a local police station in Nanling County, Wuhu City, headed by the deputy director, came to the house of An’s mother for inquiring about the whereabouts of An Ping but to no avail. Then, they four went to her hometown and interrogated her husband. An’s husband reproached them indignantly, “An Ping has never broken the law. Why do you always pester her?” The deputy director was shamed into anger, saying, “Never break the law? She has criminal records (referring to her believing in God)! The National People’s Congress will soon be held. Let her come out. We need to talk with her! Don’t try to be crafty. She is always avoiding us. The more she hides, the worse. If she continue escaping, we will issue the wanted notice! Wherever she flees, she will be arrested!” Then they strode off. Afterward, the police called An’s husband every two days to question him about her whereabouts. To avoid police’s harassment and arrest, An Ping and her husband had to flee and go into hiding.

2. A Christian Was Re-arrested and Warned: Believing in God Is Illegal!

Zhang Lin (alias, male, 61) was detained by Chinese Communist police for 16 days on the charge of “illegal preaching and disturbing public order.” He was released after having served his sentence. However, knowing he still believes in God, Wuhu police station has been monitoring him.

On March 7, 2018, two cops from a local police station in Nanling County, Wuhu City broke into Zhang’s house from the front and back doors. On seeing Zhang, they said furiously, “You are finally at home today, we have come to your house more than ten times…” and then forced him to get into a police car. Zhang Lin asked in anger, “I just believe in true God and have not done anything illegal. Why do you monitor and arrest me again and again?” The policeman driving the car replied, “The state is against the God you believe in, so believing in God is illegal.” After arriving at the police station, Zhang Lin was directly taken to the director’s office. Pointing at the seized books, CDs and MP5 players regarding to believing in God on the table, the director interrogated him whether he had these books and CDs, whether he attended meetings and whom he had contact with. Gaining no result, the police ordered him to report to the police station monthly, even if he worked away from home. Before Zhang left, the director forced him to sign and fingerprint three pieces of paper.

3. A Christian’s Family Member Suffered Harassment.

Xiao Ma (alias, male, 65) was arrested and detained for 15 days by the Chinese Communist police for preaching the gospel in 2012. On August 2, 2017, the police incarcerated Xiao at the police station for one night again and ordered him to report monthly. Xiao was forced to work away from home in order to evade arrest by the police. During that period, the police had gone to Xiao’s house to inquire about his whereabouts at least four or five times.

At about 10 a.m. on March 12, 2018, local village cadres brought two cops to Xiao’s house. Seeing the door locked, they asked Xiao’s neighbor about his whereabouts. They also went to Xiao’s second oldest brother (unbeliever in God) to ask him about the whereabouts of Xiao. After failing to get any results, the police forcibly got the phone number of Xiao’s second brother and ordered him to report Xiao’s updates to the police station.

4. Police Dropped in to Take Photos, the Christian Was Placed Under Surveillance Again.

On October 18, 2002, Fang Yi (alias, male, 70) was illegally sentenced to re-education through labor by CCP for two years on the charge of “using a cult organization to undermine the implementation of the national law.” He was released early on August 5, 2004.

Around 10 a.m. on March 12, 2018, two cops from Wuhu Fanchang County police station came to Fang’s house. While one of the policemen deliberately approached Fang and pretended to befriend him, the other took photos of him by mobile phone. Fang asked the police why they did so. However, the police sternly denied it and changed the subject.

It’s known that the local police have constantly dropped in to examine and harass Fang since he was released on August 5, 2004.

There are reports that many Christians in China were ordered to report to the police station monthly after being released. Chinese Communist police have assigned special personnel to monitor those Christians and input the information of their belief into their ID cards, which results in a strict control over Christians’ travel, work, housing, exit, etc. Some analysts believe that the CCP authorities have strengthened the control and suppression on some religions and their believers before and after the National People’s Congress, which means that the authorities’ persecution of religious beliefs has intensified dramatically.