Two Zion Church preachers from Beijing have been forcibly taken from their homes and are under police custody for interrogation despite the congregation shutting down more than three years ago. The Beijing-based Zion Church was forced to shut down in September of 2018 when CCP authorities accused it of "conducting unauthorized activities and disturbing social order under the name of civil organization."
According to International Christian Concern, Zion Church's preacher Qie Jiafu was taken by local police from his home in Changping district deep in the night of April 28. They claimed that the arrest was for his interrogation but Zion Church members said they were unable to obtain more information about Qie's detention.
His wife received a phone call from Chinese police at 1:00 am two days later, informing her that her husband was subjected to a 10-day administrative detention for violating Art.54 of the Regulations on Administrative Penalties for Public Security. Qie was also ordered to pay a 500 Yuan or $77 fine.
Another one of the preachers from Beijing's Zion Church was Huang Chunzi, who was arrested and detained at around the same time. Zion Church members only learned of her fate three days later as they were occupied with supporting Qie's family during the difficult time.
Huang was last heard of on April 28, when she told church members that Chinese police were at her door. Soon afterwards, she too went missing. She was detained for over 72 hours, during which Chinese police did not notify her next of kin about her detention.
According to Christian Post, faithful members of Beijing's Zion Church are seeking prayers for Huang so she can have "all the strength she needs from the Lord, and that the Lord will make way so the church can gain current updates." they are also praying for "sufficient grace for Preacher Qie and the many servants who are paying the price for Christ in this day and age."
Beijing's Zion Church was established in 2007 as the largest unofficial Protestant church in Beijing. Its Sunday service would gather over 1,500 church members every week. However, in 2018, CCP authorities shut down the church and confiscated "illegal promotional materials."
China claims to guarantee religious freedom for its citizens, but President Xi Jinping's leadership of the CCP has seen greater persecution of Christians, Muslims, and other religious minorities. The CCP orders that religious groups must be registered under the Three-Self Patriotic Movement or risk being monitored, harassed, or shut down.
The preachers from Beijing's Zion Church are only two of the many persecuted Christian church leaders in China who have been forced to flee or have had their liberties taken away from them. China has been ranked by Open Doors as number 17 on the World Watch List of 50 countries where Christians are persecuted the most. The CCP's "sinicizing" of the Christian church is a way for them to uphold Xi's communist ideologies, Chinese cultural identity and uphold its power.