Chinese authorities are setting quotas on the number of Christians that must be arrested and are threatening police officers with dismissal if they don’t meet the minimum standards, according to a magazine that monitors religious freedom in the country.
The magazine, Bitter Winter, reported that the National Security Bureau in Liaoning’s Dalian city sets the standards, which are based on a “100-point evaluation system.” Bitter Winter interviewed a police officer from the city.
“If the assigned quarterly arrest quotas are not met, the station chief faces losing his job,” Bitter Winter reported. “To fulfill the quotas, police stations distributed a list of previously arrested believers to local communities and building managers to keep an eye on such persons and report to the police if they notice suspicious activities.”
All faiths are targeted. That includes Falun Gong, a meditation-based religion.
The arrest of a local Christian church leader is worth 10 points on the 100-point scale, according to Bitter Winter. Police stations often “buy” lists of previously arrested Christians from other police stations.
“Police officers have been ordered to arrest any believer who has in possession three or more religious books and transfer such persons to the National Security Brigade for interrogation,” Bitter Winter reported.
The police officer told Bitter Winter he doesn’t want to arrest innocent Christians but fears the consequences if he doesn’t.