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'Super Authoritarianism': Chinese Police Harass Christian Pastor After Video of Seaside Baptisms Shared on Social Media

Randy Mancini 26 Apr 25

A house church in China's coastal province was raided by police after six members were baptized over Easter weekend.

On April 16, Pastor Mao Zhibin from Shenzhen Trinity Gospel Harvest Church and the baptismal candidates drove two hours to a nearby coastal city, according to China Aid.

Following the joyful occasion, a person known to the church uploaded video and images of the baptisms to WeChat. Mao then received a phone call from someone requesting to confirm his identity. 

A police car arrived at their location shortly after the phone conversation. The officers asked the group to provide their identification, COVID status, and allow them to scan their faces.

Mao was shocked to discover that the police already had the baptism video on their cell phones. Several other photos of the pastor also appeared after the police officers scanned his face. 

"The technology used by the government surpasses traditional authoritarian reign and should be called super authoritarianism! However, I also believe that God is and must still reign overall," Mao was quoted as saying by International Christian Concern. "We just need to trust in Him, walk humbly with God."

This is not the first time Mao and his congregation have been targeted by authorities.

CBN News reported last September that Mao had planned a trip to a hotel in Huizhou Beach to celebrate the church's fifth anniversary. The Christians planned to baptize any new believers during the getaway. 

However, on the day of the planned anniversary celebration, police officers reportedly swarmed the beach in an effort to prevent any baptisms from taking place.

And last July, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials raided a virtual church service with Mao and Elder Chu Yanqing with Shenzhen Trinity Gospel Harvest Church.

Law enforcement authorities surrounded the church building and told the pastors to stop preaching.

Ever since Pastor Mao started supporting Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi's "A Joint Statement by Pastors: A Declaration for the Sake of the Christian Faith," more church members have been targeted by CCP.

The Chinese government is relentless in its efforts to eliminate the faith community. President Xi Jinping has ordered that all religions must "Sinicize" to ensure they are loyal to the officially atheistic party. 

China's Christians say it is the worst persecution against them since Chairman Mao Zedong.

China is ranked 17th on Open Doors' 2022 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.

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