Moments before he could begin an online webinar on Christianity and Chinese culture on Thursday, Chinese authorities summoned Ran Yunfei to a police station, International Christian Concern reported.
Police detained Ran at the station until 11 p.m., leaving the webinar to play a recorded video. It would have been the second in a series of three lectures he planned to give.
“I am thankful that I have returned. I cannot share tomorrow as well. But must we share the Gospel through speaking? If you understand that being in chains is sharing the Gospel (not only with the people who talk to you, but also the many who watch you), then we should feel joyful for entering the police station multiple times,” he reportedly said in a WhatsApp message.
Ran, a prominent Chinese writer and democracy activist, became a Christian in 2015, China Christian Daily reported.
“The Chinese government is increasing the crackdown on house churches to threaten and disrupt them, in hopes that it will be too much for them,” said Gina Goh, International Christian Concern’s regional manager for Southeast Asia, to The Christian Post.
Although it’s legal for a church to meet in China after it registers with the government as a “Three Self Church,” those that do so lose their freedom, Goh said. Only in house churches can Chinese Christians run the church according to Christian principles.
“If police sense the preacher is spreading anti-government thoughts, they revoke his preaching certificate. They have basically no right for Christians who speak up. There’s no religious freedom in the Three Self Church,” Goh added.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jackson Elliott