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ChinaAid has reported a police raid against Shouwang Church in Beijing. On Sunday, August 11, 2013, police burst into the church and arrested at least thirty-eight parishioners.

Most of the detainees were released before evening. Approximately one third were discharged immediately after filing a police report. None of them are still in custody.

One woman from Shouwang Church claims she was abused during the ordeal. A deputy director allegedly grabbed her throat and pulled her hair.

Another report from ChinaAid describes a similar attack against Muen Church in Urumqi, Xinjiang province, on August 4, 2013. More than twenty police officers hurried into the building and arrested Pastor Tan Wen. Without showing identification or a warrant, officers seized Bibles and hymnals, and pressured people to leave. Congregants asked the officers why they were being harassed. One officer told them their meetings are illegal, and that they will continue to face police raids until they stop assembling. Police took Pastor Tan to the police station. Later that day, Pastor Tan was taken to a detention center, where he stayed for fifteen days.

Following Pastor Tan’s release, Muen church filed a lawsuit against local authorities, asking for religious freedom and for protection of their church property.

In December 2010, Chinese authorities launched a crackdown on unregistered house churches. China’s government requires churches to register in its regulatory Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Many churches are deemed ineligible for registration, and some simply refuse to take part in the restrictive process. The government claims there are only about 28.6 million Christians in China, but other sources say China could have as many as 80 to 130 million Christians.