Living Stone House Church Pastor Yang Hua, who resided in China's Guiyang, Guizhou province, was planning to visit fellow Christians in Qingdao, Shandong on May 24 when a day before, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police attacked him. The CCP police is believed to have learned about his travel plans, as he was brutally beaten and critically wounded.
According to the International Christian Concern, the CCP police who attacked the Chinese pastor were not in their usual uniform and were wearing plain clothes, but identified themselves as representatives of the district level Committee of Political and Legal Affairs in Guiyang. Three other Chinese officials stood by as the CCP police beat up Pastor Yang.
The Christian Chinese pastor was then taken via ambulance to the hospital, where doctors treated the wounds on his ear and neck that resulted from the attack, which also caused tinnitus symptoms. Doctors say that his attack also caused Pastor Yang's pancreatitis, a pre-existing condition, to flare up. The Christian Chinese pastor will continue to undergo medical monitoring in the coming weeks.
This is not Pastor Yang's first brush with the law enforcers in China, as he was previously arrested by CCP police during a crackdown on Living Stone Church's leaders and members two years ago. The Christian Chinese pastor was then released in June 2019 after he served his sentence of two and a half years.
News of CCP police brutally attacking Christian leaders in China is no longer new, since the communist state implemented stricter controls on churches, whether registered to the state or, more importantly, those who are not registered and are considered "underground" churches. The Christian Institute reported that the new regulations that were announced in November have seen a major crackdown on Christian groups, including the removal of Bible apps and Christian social media accounts by authorities.
China's new Administrative Measures for Religious Clergy requires "authorized" religious leaders to be registered on a national database. They are also required to belong to a state-recognized religion, "support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party" and not be "dominated by foreign forces." A pastor reported to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) that the CCP is determined to make religion "more Chinese" and increase "'partilization' of religion" that would result in a unified China with "no religious beliefs."
Christian leaders and other religious minorities who resisted the new Chinese law often "faced harassment, threats and even prison sentences," CSW's Founder President Mervyn Thomas said. Forbes theorized that Christians may be next in line in the "re-education" under CCP rule. On top of the human rights offenses against the Uyghur minorities, the CCP is also severely cracking down on Christian groups.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a 2021 report that revealed how "Chinese authorities continued to harass, detain, and torture underground Catholic bishops-such as Cui Tai and Huang Jintong-who refuse to join the state-backed Catholic association" despite the agreement between the Vatican and Chinese authorities on Bishop appointments.
CCP police have also been found to "demolish both Catholic and Protestant church buildings and crosses under its 'sinicization of religion' campaign."