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Police arrest staff, students of Christian music school in Chinese city of Harbin

The raiding team arrested the students and teachers and confiscated pianos, computers, and several documents

Authorities in China’s city of Harbin arrested students and staff of a Christian music school on September 4, said rights group China Aid in a report on Thursday, September 9.

The report said more than 30 communist party and religious affairs officials accompanied by policemen raided the Maizi Christian Music High School and arrested students and staff.

Earlier in the day, the school principal identified only as Xu was taken into custody by the police.

The Maizi Christian Music High School, which trains young musicians to serve in Church worship, is known in the city for its piano lessons.

The report said the raiding team even confiscated pianos, computers, and several documents. Police released all the students after 24 hours.

“To date, no one at school has seen Principal Xu since the day before police raided the music school,” read the China Aid report.

It said the Christian community is worried that the school principal would be charged with “proselytizing minors in school.”

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On September 6, the school released a statement calling on the faithful to pray for the safety of the school principal and his family and for the teachers.

The London-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has earlier warned that new regulations on the practice of religion in China are being used to oppress Christians.

“These arrests … appear to confirm fears that restrictions on religious communities will continue to tighten,” said Mervyn Thomas, CSW president.

In May, Chinese authorities started to remove Bible apps and Christian WeChat public accounts while copied of the Bible are no longer available for sale online.

The US-based Christian group Open Doors listed China among the top 20 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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