The day before Easter, authorities confronted a pastor and others after six new believers were baptized at a remote beach in China.
Some members of Shenzhen Trinity Harvest Gospel Church traveled two hours to the remote beach for new Christians to be baptized, reported human rights group China Aid.
Someone quickly posted photos and videos of the event.
While the group lunched at a restaurant afterward, Pastor Mao Zhibin was contacted by the Management of Health Hotline, under the pretense of COVID-19 prevention. Minutes after that, a local official and police arrived to obtain information and “biometrics” on those connected to the church, China Aid reported.
In September 2021, police closed a beach in Huizhou because members had gone there to celebrate the church’s fifth anniversary. Attempting to avoid a repeat, they traveled April 16 to the remote beach to hold the baptism service.
Authorities have twice raided the church and once banned it, during which members were not allowed to meet for five months.
China is No. 17 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.