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Police arrest Early Rain Church members in China

Chengdu police in South Western China have arrested dozens of Protestant Church members, in a crackdown on unregistered religious groups.

Police are believed to have detained over a hundred members of the Early Rain Covenant Church, making the arrests at their homes. 

Under China's constitution there is a right to religious freedom, but this has been under attack since President Xi Jinping came to office six years ago. 

Jinping views religious freedom as a challenge to the continued authority of the Community Party. 

Under Chinese law places of worship are required to register with the state and submit to its oversight but a few organisations, including the Early Rain Church, have refused. 

In February, increasing pressure came on churches to register with the Chinese state in the form of new regulations, those who failed to comply would face harsh punishments.   

So far Chengdu and national-level public security ministries have not responded to this crackdown.