Chinese officials have detained a Christian woman from Liaoning province for allegedly trying to share her faith with Chinese President Xi Jinping during an event in Beijing.
According to China Aid, Zhou Jinxia traveled from Dalian to Beijing in an attempt to reach out to Xi while the National People’s congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) convened.
When she arrived at the front gate of the former imperial garden Zhongnanhai on March 15, she held a sign that read, “God loves the people of the world and is calling out to Xi Jinping.”
Her attempt prompted the director of the Huanghe Street Police Station based in Dalian to apprehend her and take her back to her hometown overnight. The next day, Zhou was criminally detained by the Xigang Branch of the Dalian Municipal Public Security Bureau.
China Aid noted that Zhou’s friend had called her the previous day to inform her that the police were looking for her. An anonymous Christian with knowledge of the situation noted that Zhou had traveled to Zhongnanhai numerous times in the past in an effort to spread the Gospel, but she was either detained or abducted each time.
In March 2016, Zhou spent 10 days in administrative detention after another visit to Zhongnanhai, where she held a sign that read: “God loves the people of the world and is calling out to Xi Jinping and [Xi’s wife] Peng Liyuan. Atheism nurtures sin and brings down the people. The kingdom of heaven is at hand; you should repent.” The police confiscated her materials and described her act as “disturbing social order.”
The unnamed Christian expressed concern that Zhou may be prosecuted following the implementation of China’s revised Religious Affairs Regulations on Feb. 1, paving the way for stricter government control over religion.
Last year, Zhou and another Christian from Anhui, Shi Xinhong, tried to evangelize to the attendees of the meeting of the NPC and CPPCC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. However, both of them were charged with “picking quarrels and provoking troubles,” and were criminally detained.
Last month, the Communist Party announced that it was changing the Chinese Constitution to allow Xi to stay in power indefinitely.
Following the announcement, the government went to great lengths to protect the image of the president.
The Communist Party had reportedly scoured the internet for content deemed subversive, including search terms such as “my emperor,” “lifelong,” and “shameless” as well as images of Winnie the Pooh, which is sometimes likened to the Chinese president.
Despite the announcement, many citizens are reportedly unaware of the plan to abolish term limit. The issue has been buried inside newspapers and only mentioned briefly on television news shows.