Beijing police used force
to cancel Christmas for hundreds of worshippers yesterday, detaining
members of an underground congregation and placing church leaders under
temporary house arrest.
The move was aimed mainly
at the Shouwang church — the largest such unregistered church in the
capital. One of its leaders, who has been under house arrest since
trying to arrange an outdoor service at Easter, told The Times that,
once again, attempts to mark an important date in the Christian calendar
had been thwarted. "We tried to hold an outdoor service, but that was
wrecked by police. Smaller services around the city had to be cut short.
Over 30 people were taken away and others were just prevented from
leaving their homes," said the church leader, who declined to be
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