3 63 Chinese Christians Arrested and Charged by Police in Thailand | The Christian Mail
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63 Chinese Christians Arrested and Charged by Police in Thailand

Thai police arrested and beat 63 Chinese Christians in a crackdown on illegal immigration, sparking international outrage and a call for accountability. The incident comes as the UK and US governments seek to deter the forced deportation of Christians back to China, where they face persecution and imprisonment.

According to reports, Thai authorities conducted a raid on members of Mayflower church residing in a hotel and arrested dozens of worshippers who had fled China to seek refuge in Thailand. The group, which included men, women, and children, were reportedly beaten and held in detention centers for days without access to legal representation.

In a report by Premier, one can see a video clip of women lamenting over the situation. “They have beaten us, they have beaten our sisters. They even stepped on us when we were down on the ground”, the unidentified woman in the video clip was heard saying.  “Can they even call themselves police?  As law enforcement officers, they break the law”, she added. After the raid, about twelve men were jailed that same night.

However, sources had it that the jailed ones were released. The distressed Christians were said to be made up of 35 children and 28 adults.

The arrests have been widely condemned by human rights organizations and religious groups, who have accused Thai authorities of violating international law and ignoring the plight of refugees. The Chinese Christians, many of whom had fled religious persecution and government oppression, are now facing the prospect of being deported back to China, where they could face severe punishment for their beliefs.

The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Fiona Bruce MP, described to Premier the steps she was taking in response to the arrests:

“I am briefing the Foreign Secretary, alerting our Embassy in Thailand and ensuring our desk officer in the FCDO (Foreign Office) in London is informed.

“I am asking if I can join a US State Department briefing being held I understand later today and encouraging our FCDO officials to be in contact with their US counterparts to see what else we can helpfully do.“

In response to the incident, the UK and US governments have issued statements calling for the protection of religious minorities and urging Thai authorities to uphold the principles of freedom and democracy.  

Similarly, the US State Department released a statement condemning the arrests and calling on Thai authorities to respect the human rights of all individuals, regardless of their religion or nationality. The statement also expressed the US government’s commitment to protecting refugees and asylum seekers, including those who are fleeing religious persecution.

The incident has also sparked outrage among the international Christian community, with religious leaders calling on governments and organizations to take action to protect those who are facing persecution. The Christian charity, Open Doors, has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of Chinese Christians and to put pressure on governments to provide protection and support for refugees. 

The occurrence in Thailand is just the latest example of the persecution and oppression faced by Christians in China. The Chinese government has been cracking down on religious minorities, including Christians, for years, with reports of forced conversions, imprisonments, and disappearances.

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