China's Communist government has been threatening to fire police officers who fail to meet a quota for arresting Christians, according to one officer.
The officer from the city of Dalian, who wasn’t named, said the police station where he works received a quarterly performance assessment plan in September that lists the number of believers officers need to detain, according to his interview that was detailed in the religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter.
“The assessment is based on a 100-point evaluation system with specific scores assigned for each arrested believer depending on his or her faith. The highest scores are given to the most persecuted religious movements, such as Falun Gong or The Church of Almighty God,” the article revealed.
“For example, if a police station makes a breakthrough in a case against Falun Gong that is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Security, it scores 20 points. If the provincial Public Security Bureau manages the case, the score is lower — 10 points. An arrested regional leader of The Church of Almighty God will add to the station’s assessment basket 20 points; and a local church leader — half of it.”
If the quotas are not met, the station chief is at risk of being fired, the source revealed.
To meet the quotas, officers resort to trading and buying names of arrested Christians off each other.
The police officer said that he himself does not want to arrest innocent believers, but fears the consequences supervisors will have for him.
Christians, Muslims, and other minorities have faced an increased crackdown by the administration of President Xi Jinping this year, with churches demolished on several occasions, while pastors and entire congregations have been arrested.
The arrests of hundreds of believers at Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu made international news earlier this month. Police initially arrested some 100 Christians during a raid on the prominent underground church, while another 60 members were detained in other incidents last week.
Early Rain revealed that at least three Christians were tortured by police. The church's pastor, Wang Yi, who was also arrested, decried "the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience."
One indigenous ministry partner with Open Doors who works in China recently asked for prayers from the global Church body.
“The situation on the ground [in China] is always changing. Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions about what China needs. Pray for wisdom for the leaders. Pray with us,” she said.
Open Doors noted that the newly revised religious regulations that went into effect in February has led to the increased crackdown. The rules also heavily restrict the work of foreign ministries, limiting the collection of donations and posting faith-based content online.