A Chinese church is left bare after government officials allegedly confiscated nearly everything in site.
Pastor Yang Jiale of the Yanjiao Abundance Church in Hebei, China, was told on March 27 by a government official to unlock the church, according to Voice of the Martyrs. Pastor Yang says that because there was no one in the building and no events planned he did not comply with the order.
Officials showed up later that day and forced their way in. Yang and VOTM allege that officials did not notify the pastor or present a warrant.
"Officials from various government departments, together with the police, searched the building and confiscated audio speakers, guitars, communion supplies and other items. All they left behind were a few pieces of furniture.
"The church's landlord was also ordered to terminate the lease. When the landlord spoke up in favour of the church, he was detained for a day at the police station and interrogated until he complied.
VOTM says that "the small church has refused to join China's officially sanctioned Three-Self church. Since Christmas of 2020, governing authorities in the town of Yanjiao have forcibly closed ten house churches, sometimes under the guise of pandemic restrictions."