A resident had his water and electricity supply cut off as a consequence of hosting a religious gathering in the eastern Hebei province in China.
According to a Bitter Winter report on Tuesday, Yang Yingle, a Christian residing in Sanhe had no water and energy supply for more than one day as “a punishment and warning.”
Sanhe is a county-level city administered by the Langfang prefecture-level city, known for its iconic Tianzi Hotel resembling the Chinese god of fortune, longevity, and prosperity.
On June 1, some elderly friends gathered at Yang’s home for prayer and Bible study. He was not present when the police arrived to question the attendees.
Authorities seized his religious books and computer. The computer was later returned but the books were confiscated.
Yang claimed the sudden loss of essential services caused significant hardships for his sick wife and child.
The use of cutting off water and electricity as a means of coercion has raised concerns, as it has been employed in the past by authorities in an attempt to intimidate and exert control over Christian communities.
Yang was explicitly warned that any recurrence of illegal religious gatherings at his residence would result in a repeated disconnection of water and electricity, along with potential further consequences.
The Chinese Communist Party’s strict oversight and regulation of religious activities have drawn international scrutiny and criticism from human rights organizations.