BEIJING, CHINA At least five Christians, including two teenagers, were behind bars Wednesday, July 15, in China’s Shandong province, where worshipers and rights investigators said security forces raided a Christian youth camp and abolished a house church.
In the latest incident a Christian youth camp in Tengzhou city was raided Monday, July 13, and the five Christians were sentenced to up to 15 days “administrative detention”, said advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA).
It came after a house church was in Dongyong city was reportedly July 5. Authorities also confiscated the Christians’ property, including projectors, televisions, computers, computer tables, musical instruments, audio equipment, furniture and other items, witnesses said.
Additionally police allegedly seized the students’ mobile phones, Bibles and “other daily necessities”. Police reportedly told Christian leaders that, “It is forbidden for those under 18 to believe Christianity, and even those above 18 years old are not allowed to organize or participate in religious activities without permission.”
CAA told Worthy News that police “interrogated, threatened and beat Christian youth in the Hubin police station, then released the majority of Christians.”
However, “the five Christians ” who organized the camp, including a 16-year old boy identified as Shao Yuju, and young woman Wang Si-Ping, 19 are still being held by the Tengzhou Public Security Bureau, CAA added.
Police allegedly did not provide the detained Christians with food or water for almost two days, and the Christians were reportedly suffering from hunger and dehydration.
There was no immediate confirmation from officials. CAA said the youth and three other Christians, identified as Christian men Wang Chang-Yin, Qiu Jia-Cun, and Gong Cun-Ling, were in a state of shock.
It said dozens of other Christians were recovering from their experience in Dongyong city where security forces raided and closed down the house church July 5.
Dongyong is a twin-city of Midland, Texas, CAA said. Christians have linked the reported crackdown to concerns of Chinese authorities about the spread of Christianity, but officials have denied wrongdoing.