Hubei authorities attack Christians with fireworks and mud every week

Authorities in Hubei province in central China have reportedly been attacking church services every week, using fireworks and mud against the Christian churchgoers.

(REUTERS / Stringer)A man rides a bicycle during heavy fog in Wuhan, Hubei province December 6, 2011.

A pastor called Zhang recalled how government officials arrived on July 11 and threw firecrackers at the congregants gathered for a Christian service, injuring one female churchgoer. Such attacks have been happening every week to the church, which holds its services outdoors, China Aid relayed.

The injured woman went to the police station to negotiate, accompanied by her co-church members. However, they ended up staying there for five to seven days.

On Aug. 8, Hubei authorities struck again and used mud and water to drench church members. They also seized furniture and other church property. They also warned the Christians that paint and excrement would be used on them the following week, but it has not yet been confirmed if they carried out this threat or not.

Earlier this year, authorities stormed into Zhang's church and took down its sign. They also confiscated tables, chairs, and other church properties.

The Christian congregants resisted the raid, and a group gathered in front of local government offices to protest the said attacks. This incident prompted the church to start holding its services outdoors.

Meanwhile, authorities freed church accountant Zhang Xiuhong, who was wrongly imprisoned for no less than two years over alleged "illegal business operations." She was detained on July 28, 2015 after she supposedly took out church funds using a cash register in a beauty store, China Aid said in a separate report.

The church accountant was formally arrested on Sep. 1, 2015 and faced trial on Jan. 23 of this year. She was originally handed a five-year jail sentence but this was then reduced to three years with a five-year probation period after an appeal.

Despite Zhang's experience, her faith has grown stronger. She also used her time in jail to share her Christian faith with her co-prisoners.