Eleven Members of The Church of Almighty God Arrested

Around 5:00 p.m. on May 19, Xia Wei (pseudonym, female, 21), a member of The Church of Almighty God, a Chinese Christian new religious movement, was arrested by the Chinese government in Chongqing along with ten other members of the congregation. The Public Security Bureau enforced residential surveillance of Xia Wei at her residence for the crime of “suspected use of a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law.”

In the morning of the third day after the arrest, a police officer called Xia Wei’s father telling him to go to the station to pick up Xia Wei’s belongings. When he asked what was going on, the officer replied that it was currently confidential and they could discuss it when he came to the station. He went to the station that afternoon and asked to see his daughter, but the police said that he could not since they were going to investigate for a few days and then decide. “Maybe she’ll be home in six or seven days, or maybe six months,” the policemen said. “Go home and we’ll call at some point to let you know.”

When the father picked up Xia Wei’s things, the officer revealed that others arrested along with Xia Wei were being held in a detention center. The officer also asked him to sign a “Notification of Designated Residence Surveillance.” When the father said he was uneducated, the officer signed in his stead.

That same day, Xia Wei’s father being afraid that his daughter would suffer in custody, tried to use the connections he had to buy her release, but an officer at the police station said that there was a major rectification campaign this year; therefore, money could not get believers in Almighty God released.

It got cold on the sixth day after Xia Wei’s arrest, so her father called the police asking to allow him to bring some warm clothes. He was yelled at that there was no need for this because she was about to go to a detention center.

Since then, no information about the arrest of these eleven members of The Church of Almighty God has been obtained. Bitter Winter will continue to monitor further details on their arrest and persecution.