Church leaders in China were arrested while watching an online service on Easter Sunday.
Six leaders of the Early Rain Covenant Church were removed from their homes and detained by Chinese authorities.
The 2020 Open Doors World Watch List has highlighted the extreme persecution that Christians face in China.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC), an online Easter Sunday service taking place via Zoom was interrupted as police raided members’ homes.
Someone watching the service told ICC: “I thought it’s the network connection issue at first, but I soon heard a quarrel erupt.”
The electricity was disconnected in one of the homes and others received phone calls warning them that the police were coming.
All six leaders have since been released and the electricity was restored later on Sunday afternoon.
This year, the Open Doors World Watch List revealed the extent of Christian persecution in China.
Open Doors UK CEO Henrietta Blyth spoke to BBC Radio 4, to highlight worrying developments.
“China has rocketed up our World Watch List”, she said. “We’ve seen churches closed, we’ve seen pastors imprisoned. It’s no longer possible to buy Bibles online. People under the age of 18 can’t attend Sunday school or church.”