Hundreds Of Chinese Christians Arrested At Easter Congregation

Holy Trinity Church in Singapore. Photo: BertholdD (CC)

Holy Trinity Church in Singapore. Photo: BertholdD (CC)

The New York Times reports:

The authorities stepped up a three-week campaign against an underground Christian church on Sunday, detaining hundreds of congregants in their homes and taking at least 36 others into custody after they tried to hold Easter services in a public square, church members and officials said.

The church, Shouwang, an evangelical Protestant congregation that was evicted from its rented quarters this month, has been at loggerheads with the government since announcing plans to gather outdoors rather than disband or return to worshiping in private homes. The authorities have repeatedly stymied Shouwang’s efforts to lease or buy space for its 1,000-member congregation, one of the largest and most prominent so-called house churches in the capital.

The Chinese Communist Party tightly manages religious activity, requiring the faithful to join state-run churches, mosques or Buddhist temples. Until the most recent crackdown on Shouwang and a handful of other unregistered churches, such congregations had enjoyed relatively wide latitude from the authorities.

[Continues at The New York Times]

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  • Hadrian999

    can you blame them, Christianity’s goal is to destroy local culture everywhere they go.

    • Zein

      I know totally! those close minded Christians trying to opress the open minded secular Chinese.

      • Hadrian999

        the simple fact is Christianity has an extensive record of destroying local culture and customs, along with islam, though islam has been much less successful. I see nothing wrong with preserving local culture against an invasion of foreign colonization of the soul.

        • Butter Knife

          So you support the suppression of individuals’ freedom of conscience where you feel such freedom might lead some individuals to accept a philosophical framework which informs them to tell others of same philosophy?

          And you justify this on the grounds of preserving local culture?

          I’m no fan of the Evangelical movement, but I am far less a fan of violating the basic premise of free will and self-determination. If one is not free to choose their beliefs, they are not free in any meaningful way… a “local culture” of enslavement does not, to my mind, deserve to be protected.

          • Hadrian999

            I don’t have to justify it, it isn’t my action. I merely understand the desire

          • Butter Knife

            By your own words, you “see nothing wrong with” imprisoning Christians (and, presumably, Muslims) solely for their beliefs. Your action may not be to actually do so, but it most certainly is to support it.

            I am simply questioning your ethical process on this issue, because I suspect that it does not line up with your prevailing moral framework.

            How would you feel about Christians in Arkansas imprisoning Muslims in order to defend their local culture? How about Islamic Iranians doing the same to Jews? Indian Hindus to Buddhists and Muslims?

            You have given (more than) tacit approval to a major world government, one with a long and sordid history of brutal repression of dissidents and minorities, overtly policing the spiritual and philosophical beliefs of its citizens. Your knee-jerk anti-Christian sentiments are hardly a palatable reason to give such an endorsement.

          • Hadrian999

            if it happened in the us I would be against it because it is against one of the founding principles of the nation, beyond that I wouldn’t feel to sorry for them because every group you named would be hostile towards me. but I can definitely understand the aversion any would have to letting a foreign organization gain domination over its citizens.

          • Rwright05

            What is it exactly you’re supporting here? I’m an atheist too and I don’t like how a lot of religions treat non-believers. But endorsing the repression of minority groups (though Christianity isn’t a minority here, it is in China) seriously suggests that you support the suppression of minority groups that might possibly threaten the stability of the “local culture”. No matter what that culture might be. So Alabama suppressing a Gay Pride rally is understandable to you because it threatens “local culture”? Or Ramadan?

          • Hadrian999

            i am not supporting it but i do understand the thinking behind it(not an atheist myself but that doesn’t matter) have you been to Alabama, the do suppress gay pride. what I don’t support is trying to be the world police, I have seen first hand how fucked up that turns out.

          • Jax7151

            They weren’t imprisoned for believing in christianity, they were imprisoned for doing it outside. I don’t want to see that shit either, go home.

          • Butter Knife

            “I wouldn’t feel to sorry for them because every group you named would be hostile towards me”

            You’re condoning imprisoning (possibly worse) them on the basis of their religion. I’d be pretty fucking hostile too.

            “but I can definitely understand the aversion any would have to letting a foreign organization gain domination over its citizens”

            Shouwang is a Chinese church. It’s not foreign. It’s also more than a minor exaggeration to claim that any mainstream church, in this day and age, holds “domination” over pretty much anyone. I know that a few are out there (CoS, WBC, FLDS, etc.), but the vast majority of people out there are far less dominated by their religious organization than they are by, say, their employer. If anything, Shouwang challenges the Communist Party of the PRC’s absolute domination over its citizens… given what a bunch of shitheads *they* are, I’m having trouble too sorry for them on that point.

          • Hadrian999

            you need to calm down, I haven’t advocated or argued that anything should be done. any christian church outside of the holy land is by it’s nature a foreign organization. which a government that uses cultural and national unity as a basis of power would logically see as a threat to public order. personally i don’t get emotionally attached to people I don’t know or have some kind of bond with. I wish everyone could get along but that just can’t happen in the world we live in.

        • Synapse

          Actually, neither Christianity nor Islam have been particularly great about destroying local culture. Christianity simply rebrands the local customs as christian ones while refocusing belief, and Islam was created in the same manner, although from an Arab cultural viewpoint, and continues down this path.

          The Chinese Jesus is depicted as being Chinese.

      • Elmyr23

        yeah sounds like a few thousand years of history and a countless number of wars.

      • Elmyr23
      • http://twitter.com/RodT3 Cremaster

        If I was in charge i would not allow them to congregate either.. I AM YOUR GOD

    • scp3e

      you wouldn’t have the balls to say that about any other religion or ideology.

      • Hadrian999

        actually I have the balls to say it about every religion that practices proselytizing

        • EnoughIsEnough

          Amen, sistah! My brother and his wife wanted to be missionaries to China and I was never happy about it but when I found out that his wife was pregnant and they were still planning to go WITH the child, I finally lost it and threatened to fax their photos to the Chinese government. Proselytizing should be illegal, regardless of the religion. Anyone should have the freedom to believe any crazy crap they want, but the second you try to force it onto others against their will, it should be punishable by law. And yes, this should also apply to parents who try to brainwash their children, even though it would be all but impossible to enforce such a law :(

          • Threedinium

            Treat the problem by being the problem. Original.

      • Elmyr23

        why because the other religions are terrorist?

      • E.B. Wolf

        Islam and Christianity’s goals ARE to destroy local culture everywhere they go. They’re both mind viruses. How hard was that?

    • olololololol

      They should put all the Christians there in like some sort of camp so they don’t destroy anymore cultures, because it’s obvious we can make accurate claims regarding any individual based on their religion.

    • Henry

      I’m sure you do not know anything about your need for salvation but if you did you will know that there is no name under Heaven or on Earth by which men shall be saved except the name of Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. These culture you are referring to do not have salvation for the people but only a life-style.

    • John

      Christianity CREATES culture at it’s finest from classical music to gothic cathedral architecture to renaissance artwork. But your average pot smoking pop cultured atheist can’t be expected to understand such things.

  • Hadrian999

    can you blame them, Christianity’s goal is to destroy local culture everywhere they go.

  • Zein

    I know totally! those close minded Christians trying to opress the open minded secular Chinese.

  • scp3e

    you wouldn’t have the balls to say that about any other religion or ideology.

  • olololololol

    They should put all the Christians there in like some sort of camp so they don’t destroy anymore cultures, because it’s obvious we can make accurate claims regarding any individual based on their religion.

  • Hadrian999

    actually I have the balls to say it about every religion that practices proselytizing

  • Hadrian999

    the simple fact is Christianity has an extensive record of destroying local culture and customs, along with islam, though islam has been much less successful. I see nothing wrong with preserving local culture against an invasion of foreign colonization of the soul.

  • Butter Knife

    So you support the suppression of individuals’ freedom of conscience where you feel such freedom might lead some individuals to accept a philosophical framework which informs them to tell others of same philosophy?

    And you justify this on the grounds of preserving local culture?

    I’m no fan of the Evangelical movement, but I am far less a fan of violating the basic premise of free will and self-determination. If one is not free to choose their beliefs, they are not free in any meaningful way… a “local culture” of enslavement does not, to my mind, deserve to be protected.

  • Butter Knife

    So you support the suppression of individuals’ freedom of conscience where you feel such freedom might lead some individuals to accept a philosophical framework which informs them to tell others of same philosophy?

    And you justify this on the grounds of preserving local culture?

    I’m no fan of the Evangelical movement, but I am far less a fan of violating the basic premise of free will and self-determination. If one is not free to choose their beliefs, they are not free in any meaningful way… a “local culture” of enslavement does not, to my mind, deserve to be protected.

  • Hadrian999

    I don’t have to justify it, it isn’t my action. I merely understand the desire

  • Alban Elfed

    Oh, boy! Lets all get angry and have heated debates about the weeding out of Chinese Christians while ignoring the destruction of every other Chinese freedom.

    • ArgosyJones

      Oh for Christ’s sake;)

      Chinese Christians are the subject of the article, after all. Gaia forbid anybody make on-topic comments.

      • Alban Elfed

        I know I know… It’s just that any time Christian persecution is mentioned, the natural response is squealing piggies. I was just trying to plant the seed that it isn’t the only religion (or freedom) being snuffed out over there.

  • Alban Elfed

    Oh, boy! Lets all get angry and have heated debates about the weeding out of Chinese Christians while ignoring the destruction of every other Chinese freedom.

  • Butter Knife

    By your own words, you “see nothing wrong with” imprisoning Christians (and, presumably, Muslims) solely for their beliefs. Your action may not be to actually do so, but it most certainly is to support it.

    I am simply questioning your ethical process on this issue, because I suspect that it does not line up with your prevailing moral framework.

    How would you feel about Christians in Arkansas imprisoning Muslims in order to defend their local culture? How about Islamic Iranians doing the same to Jews? Indian Hindus to Buddhists and Muslims?

    You have given (more than) tacit approval to a major world government, one with a long and sordid history of brutal repression of dissidents and minorities, overtly policing the spiritual and philosophical beliefs of its citizens. Your knee-jerk anti-Christian sentiments are hardly a palatable reason to give such an endorsement.

  • Hadrian999

    if it happened in the us I would be against it because it is against one of the founding principles of the nation, beyond that I wouldn’t feel to sorry for them because every group you named would be hostile towards me. but I can definitely understand the aversion any would have to letting a foreign organization gain domination over its citizens.

  • Rwright05

    What is it exactly you’re supporting here? I’m an atheist too and I don’t like how a lot of religions treat non-believers. But endorsing the repression of minority groups (though Christianity isn’t a minority here, it is in China) seriously suggests that you support the suppression of minority groups that might possibly threaten the stability of the “local culture”. No matter what that culture might be. So Alabama suppressing a Gay Pride rally is understandable to you because it threatens “local culture”? Or Ramadan?

  • ArgosyJones

    Oh for Christ’s sake;)

    Chinese Christians are the subject of the article, after all. Gaia forbid anybody make on-topic comments.

  • Hadrian999

    i am not supporting it but i do understand the thinking behind it(not an atheist myself but that doesn’t matter) have you been to Alabama, the do suppress gay pride. what I don’t support is trying to be the world police, I have seen first hand how fucked up that turns out.

  • greengestalt

    The real tragedy/irony here is what WILL these “Good Christians” be making in prison, uh, vely solly, I mean “Re-Education”…?

    Among all the consumer sh-t that used to be made in the USA, more or less ALL of it, plenty of “Christan” stuff….

    Bibles.
    Those “Hipster Christian” stuff at Hastings and other stores.
    Passion DVDs and Veggie Tales stuff.

    Not last and FAR from least;

    EASTER CANDY for next year’s Easter…

    And the “Good Christians” in the USA will BUY it and listening to the right wing SH-T support such exploitation because if THEY get rich some day they’ll be able to get richer laying off workers and sending jobs to CHINA…

  • Anonymous

    The real tragedy/irony here is what WILL these “Good Christians” be making in prison, uh, vely solly, I mean “Re-Education”…?

    Among all the consumer sh-t that used to be made in the USA, more or less ALL of it, plenty of “Christan” stuff….

    Bibles.
    Those “Hipster Christian” stuff at Hastings and other stores.
    Passion DVDs and Veggie Tales stuff.

    Not last and FAR from least;

    EASTER CANDY for next year’s Easter…

    And the “Good Christians” in the USA will BUY it and listening to the right wing SH-T support such exploitation because if THEY get rich some day they’ll be able to get richer laying off workers and sending jobs to CHINA…

  • Elmyr23

    yeah sounds like a few thousand years of history and a countless number of wars.

  • Elmyr23

    why because the other religions are terrorist?

  • Elmyr23
  • Synapse

    Actually, neither Christianity nor Islam have been particularly great about destroying local culture. Christianity simply rebrands the local customs as christian ones while refocusing belief, and Islam was created in the same manner, although from an Arab cultural viewpoint, and continues down this path.

    The Chinese Jesus is depicted as being Chinese.

  • Claude Santos

    yeah i knew it and in this they are totally deserve for that.
    http://www.healthsexadvice.com/paint-zoom-review-color-home-best-shades/

  • Alban Elfed

    I know I know… It’s just that any time Christian persecution is mentioned, the natural response is squealing piggies. I was just trying to plant the seed that it isn’t the only religion (or freedom) being snuffed out over there.

  • EnoughIsEnough

    Amen, sistah! My brother and his wife wanted to be missionaries to China and I was never happy about it but when I found out that his wife was pregnant and they were still planning to go WITH the child, I finally lost it and threatened to fax their photos to the Chinese government. Proselytizing should be illegal, regardless of the religion. Anyone should have the freedom to believe any crazy crap they want, but the second you try to force it onto others against their will, it should be punishable by law. And yes, this should also apply to parents who try to brainwash their children, even though it would be all but impossible to enforce such a law :(

  • AboutTime

    “The Chinese Communist Party tightly manages religious activity, requiring the faithful to join state-run churches, mosques or Buddhist temples.” This is superb…a working model that the rest of the world could benefit from. Force parents to register with a state-sanctioned church and hopefully keep in contact with the kids to make sure the parents aren’t brainwashing them.

    I also appreciate the intentions of China’s one-child policy, even though it is unfortunate that so many female fetuses are aborted, thus resulting in a huge demand for sex trafficked women :(

  • AboutTime

    “The Chinese Communist Party tightly manages religious activity, requiring the faithful to join state-run churches, mosques or Buddhist temples.” This is superb…a working model that the rest of the world could benefit from. Force parents to register with a state-sanctioned church and hopefully keep in contact with the kids to make sure the parents aren’t brainwashing them.

    I also appreciate the intentions of China’s one-child policy, even though it is unfortunate that so many female fetuses are aborted, thus resulting in a huge demand for sex trafficked women :(

    • Rohatsu

      What? So it’s okay to just have the CCP brainwash the kids instead? Spirituality is an individual journey and can not be regulated as if it were firearms. I’m not apologizing for parents that brainwash children (equally harmful in my book) but come on, you’ve got to see the hypocrisy here, no?

      • EnoughIsEnough

        There should be a mandatory class that teaches kids about ALL of the religious cults that have existed throughout human history and both the positive and negative impacts which said cults have had. The kids could then decide if they wanted to pursue a private study of any of these beliefs, but with the warning that they are to keep their superstitious beliefs private. Proselytizing of any sort would be illegal, punishable by fines and/or jail sentences and/or having your children removed from the home if you are discovered forcing your beliefs onto them. Let kids decide for themselves what they want to believe or not. I would like to believe that – give such circumstances – some kids might choose to embrace the positive aspects of religion (ie: Do Unto Others) without feeling the need to take the dogma seriously and being able to put it into a historical/mythological context. What would be so bad about that?

  • an aside

    it may be quibbles, but posting a picture from Singapore is neither correct, nor fair.

  • an aside

    it may be quibbles, but posting a picture from Singapore is neither correct, nor fair.

  • Bwolfeoh

    All i can say is Luke 21:12 and with the double suns Luke 21:25 (i think?)

  • Bwolfeoh

    All i can say is Luke 21:12 and with the double suns Luke 21:25 (i think?)

  • E.B. Wolf

    Islam and Christianity’s goals ARE to destroy local culture everywhere they go. They’re both mind viruses. How hard was that?

  • Butter Knife

    “I wouldn’t feel to sorry for them because every group you named would be hostile towards me”

    You’re condoning imprisoning (possibly worse) them on the basis of their religion. I’d be pretty fucking hostile too.

    “but I can definitely understand the aversion any would have to letting a foreign organization gain domination over its citizens”

    Shouwang is a Chinese church. It’s not foreign. It’s also more than a minor exaggeration to claim that any mainstream church, in this day and age, holds “domination” over pretty much anyone. I know that a few are out there (CoS, WBC, FLDS, etc.), but the vast majority of people out there are far less dominated by their religious organization than they are by, say, their employer. If anything, Shouwang challenges the Communist Party of the PRC’s absolute domination over its citizens… given what a bunch of shitheads *they* are, I’m having trouble too sorry for them on that point.

  • Rohatsu

    What? So it’s okay to just have the CCP brainwash the kids instead? Spirituality is an individual journey and can not be regulated as if it were firearms. I’m not apologizing for parents that brainwash children (equally harmful in my book) but come on, you’ve got to see the hypocrisy here, no?

  • Hadrian999

    you need to calm down, I haven’t advocated or argued that anything should be done. any christian church outside of the holy land is by it’s nature a foreign organization. which a government that uses cultural and national unity as a basis of power would logically see as a threat to public order. personally i don’t get emotionally attached to people I don’t know or have some kind of bond with. I wish everyone could get along but that just can’t happen in the world we live in.

  • Adam

    Who is being brainwashed?

  • Adam

    nevermind that comment

  • Anonymous

    There they have the government trying to control the churches, here we have the churches trying to control the government.

    Call it a draw.

  • WoodGas1

    There they have the government trying to control the churches, here we have the churches trying to control the government.

    Call it a draw.

  • http://twitter.com/RodT3 RodT3

    If I was in charge i would not allow them to congregate either.. I AM YOUR GOD

  • Henry

    I’m sure you do not know anything about your need for salvation but if you did you will know that there is no name under Heaven or on Earth by which men shall be saved except the name of Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. These culture you are referring to do not have salvation for the people but only a life-style.

  • EnoughIsEnough

    There should be a mandatory class that teaches kids about ALL of the religious cults that have existed throughout human history and both the positive and negative impacts which said cults have had. The kids could then decide if they wanted to pursue a private study of any of these beliefs, but with the warning that they are to keep their superstitious beliefs private. Proselytizing of any sort would be illegal, punishable by fines and/or jail sentences and/or having your children removed from the home if you are discovered forcing your beliefs onto them. Let kids decide for themselves what they want to believe or not. I would like to believe that – give such circumstances – some kids might choose to embrace the positive aspects of religion (ie: Do Unto Others) without feeling the need to take the dogma seriously and being able to put it into a historical/mythological context. What would be so bad about that?

  • Threedinium

    Treat the problem by being the problem. Original.

  • John

    Christianity CREATES culture at it’s finest from classical music to gothic cathedral architecture to renaissance artwork. But your average pot smoking pop cultured atheist can’t be expected to understand such things.

  • Jax7151

    They weren’t imprisoned for believing in christianity, they were imprisoned for doing it outside. I don’t want to see that shit either, go home.

  • Jax7151

    They weren’t imprisoned for believing in christianity, they were imprisoned for doing it outside. I don’t want to see that shit either, go home.