Seven Christians have been detained in China who are accused of embezzlement and disrupting social order.
According to BBC reports, Pastor Bao Guohua, his wife and five church employees were detained in Jinhua. However, church’s lawyer Chen Jiangang claims, “they were being punished for protesting against the removal of their church cross.”
Most recently, local government in Zhejiang has recently directed the state-sanctioned churches to remove crosses. In the wake of this order several churches have also been demolished after the government claims they did not follow building regulations.
According to the Chinese state media, Mr Bao and his wife, Xing Wenxiang, who are pastors at the Holy Love Christian Church, had embezzled hundreds of thousands of yuan in church funds and “conducted illegal business”.
Church’s lawyer Chen Jiangang says, “I can tell you that if church leaders had agreed to take down the cross, there would have been no problem. But they refused. That’s why they were detained.”
“What is unusual is that this was an official church, recognised by the Communist Party. Everything had been properly approved by the authorities,” he adds,” the church gained approval in 2008.”