A pastor of the Reformed Church of Zion in China was arrested on November 21 for allegedly “illegally” crossing the border when he attended a religious meeting in Malaysia.
An Yankui, a minister of the Reformed Church of Zion, was arrested by the Fenyang (Shanxi) Public Security Bureau, according to a report from human rights group ChinaAid.
Pastor An is reportedly being held at Fangshan County Jail with his colleague, Zhang Chenghao.
The report said the Chinese authorities who took the Church leaders into custody also took away all electronic devices found in the house of the pastor and some books.
The pastor’s family insisted that his trip to Malaysia was legal as he traveled with a regular passport and the necessary visa.
In July, police also arrested five other people linked to the Reformed Church of Zion and were reportedly subjected to “repeated pressure by the authorities to join religious organizations controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
The ChinaAid report said that the Pastor An’s wife, Yao Congya, received the detention notice issued by Shanxi Province Fenyang Municipal Bureau of Public Security.
The notice said that “per the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China Article 82, on November 22, 2021, our bureau criminally detained An Yankui who was suspected of illegally crossing the national border.”
In January 2020, members of the Reformed Church of Zion attended the “Gospel and Culture Conference 2020” organized by Stephen Tong Tjong Eng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.