PERSECUTION

Chinese Christians Arrested

Chinese police detained at least 30 Christians from a Beijing church as they tried to gather for an Easter service in a public plaza Sunday. Members of the Shouwang church have been trying to meet in the plaza every Sunday since they were evicted from its rented place of worship three weeks ago, but they have been arrested each time. Christianity is technically legal in China, whose constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but Christians are required to worship in churches run by state-controlled organizations. Nevertheless, 60 million Christians are believed to worship in unregistered “house” churches, compared to the 20 million who worship in state churches. Unregistered churches have grown rapidly in recent years, worrying China's rulers. The Shouwang say they tried to register with the government in 2006 but were rejected.