BEIJING, APR 11 : Dozens of worshippers of a Christian House Church have been detained by Chinese Police for holding prayers at an outdoor venue.
China’s Communist government allows worship only in state-approved churches, but unregistered congregations among Christians are popular. Such “house churches” are subjected to varying degrees of harassment by authorities, Fox News reports.
Leaders of the unregistered Shouwang house church had told members to gather at an open-air venue in Beijing for Sunday morning services, but police taped off the area and detained people who showed up. Shouwang pastor Yuan Ling was also among those who were detained.
Chinese authorities have been on high alert for large public gatherings following online anti-government calls based on the Middle East demonstrations.
No major protests have occurred, but the crackdown has led to the arrest or detention of many public interest lawyers, writers, intellectuals and activists, including Internationally known artist Ai Weiwei.