6.3 C
New York
Sunday, February 25, 2024
HomeAsiaChinese Church Leaders Arrested for Allegedly Illegally Accumulating £85K

Chinese Church Leaders Arrested for Allegedly Illegally Accumulating £85K

Authorities in China’s Shanxi Province have arrested three leaders of the Linfen Covenant House Church on charges of illegally amassing around £85,000.  

Li Jie, Han Xiaodong, and Wang Qiang are facing charges of forming a criminal “clique” and running an illegal organization without state approval. The indictment further alleges that the leaders deceived individuals into making tithes and offerings to the church.

House churches, like the Linfen Covenant House Church, are generally considered illegal in China as they are often unregistered and not sanctioned by the government. Many churches either face denial of registration or deliberately choose not to register due to concerns over government control, such as surveillance and allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party.

The situation escalated when Li Jie and Han Xiaodong were detained following a church raid in August 2022. They were subjected to sleep deprivation for three days and three nights. Subsequently, in September 2022, Li Jie and Han Xiaodong were officially arrested, while Wang Qiang was detained in November 2022 and formally arrested in December 2022, all on fraud charges.

Following the arrests, reports from Christian persecution charities Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and China Aid revealed that members of the Linfen Covenant House Church faced repeated harassment, coercion, and intimidation by local authorities. Some individuals were forced to provide false evidence and prohibited from attending church services.

In response to the situation, the church released a “letter of intercession” condemning the prosecution of its leaders. The church emphasized that the persecution of a “God-fearing church” and the characterization of it as a “criminal clique” were unprecedented actions since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. They called on people to pray for the safe release of the three leaders and highlighted the violation of citizens’ constitutional rights.

China revised its Regulations on Religious Affairs in February 2018, imposing registration requirements and criteria on religious organizations to strengthen state control over religious activities. Li Jie, one of the accused leaders, had previously criticized this revision by signing a joint statement. Similarly, Pastor Wang Yi of the Early Rain Church, another signatory of the statement, was detained in December 2018 and later sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business operations.”

It is worth noting that in recent years, an increasing number of religious leaders in China have faced prosecution under charges of fraud, which can carry lengthy prison sentences. Mervyn Thomas, Founder and President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), has strongly criticized the charges against the Linfen Covenant House Church leaders as “blatantly unjust.” Thomas highlighted the coercive methods used by the police, including sleep deprivation and torture, to extract evidence from detainees and church members.

Thomas called on the international community to utilize every available opportunity to urge the Chinese government to cease the prosecution of unregistered religious groups, allowing them to practice their religion and peacefully advocate for freedom of religion or belief in China.

The arrest and prosecution of the Linfen Covenant House Church leaders shows the ongoing challenges faced by unregistered religious groups in China and the concerns regarding religious freedom and human rights in the country.


Some publications on our website comes from Third Party content suppliers, if you notice any Copyright Infringement, please contact us immediately to request removal. To Contact Us or to Submit an Article, click here.
Unless otherwise specified, the news and opinions expressed are solely the source's and author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Mail.

VIDEO on Demand | LIVE TV | The Christian Mail

Like us on Facebook


- We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

If you are not a Christian, and would like to become a Christian. Simply say - "LORD Jesus, thank you for forgiving me of my SINs, today I am deciding to follow you. Accept me into your family, in Jesus name I pray. Amen "

If you still have questions , click here to Contact Us, we are here to help

Click here to Follow us: & The Christian Mail on facebook



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here