Chinese police detain church members for public praying

Sunday morning Chinese police detained more than 100 church members after they tried praying in a public plaza north of the capital.
The members of the Shouwang Church tried to hold an outdoor service after failing to secure permission to open a church reported the Los Angeles Times. The congregation of around 1,000 has complained in recent years that the government pressured landlords into refusing to rent space in various hotels and office buildings to the congregation said the LA Times.
According to the New York Times the congregation is one of China's largest house churches and has been trying to gain legal recognition from the authorities since 2006 with no success. The Shouwang Church is one of many unregistered churches facing pressure to disband or join the system of state-controlled churches said the NY Times.
The church did not make the public meeting a secret as it explained on the Internet that they had no choice but to pray in public reported the NY Times.
The police were also alerted of the time of the gathering and went on to surround the meeting point reported the LA Times. More than 100 members were loaded onto vans and buses and many were taken to a nearby school for questioning before being released.
This public prayer meeting is not the first for the Shouwang Church, but it was the first meeting to be interfered by Chinese authorities reported the LA Times.

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