CHENZHOU, China — As soon as a Christian man completed a 15-day detention, police accused him of illegal business activities.
The human rights group ChinaAid reports that Lanshan Public Security Bureau gave Zeng Chuandao administrative detention, to last from May 14 through May 30. Then, on June 1, Zeng was put in criminal detention for “illegal business operations.”
According to ChinaAid, accusations of “illegal business” have recently been used to target pastors and church leaders, as well as principals and teachers of private Christian schools.
While Zeng is a Christian teacher, he does not hold a leadership role in the house church he attends in Hunan province, his wife, Wanjuan Quan, told ChinaAid.
The only churches that the Chinese Communist Party sanctions are the ones registered with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, which ChinaAid describes as an “arm of propaganda for the Communist regime.”
If unregistered house churches receive tithes or offerings, their operation is considered “illegal business,” ChinaAid explains. “Some Chinese prosecutors go as far as to say these pastors defraud their congregants.”