Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Archive for October, 2006

35 Chinese Christians Arrested in Xinjiang Released After Interrogation

Posted by radiofreechina on October 28, 2006

American-Korean Pastor Put under Surveillance in a Hotel; New Website for Religious Freedom in China Launched

By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

MIDLAND, TEXAS / XINJIANG, CHINA (ANS) — All 35 Christians arrested October 26, 2006 in a Bible training program held in Qilin mountain Villa, Urumqi city, Xinjiang Autonomous Region have been released. They were released at 11pm after 12 hours of interrogation.
China Aid Association (CAA), in a release to the media says: “The police behaved relatively ‘gentle’ during the interrogation, according to the eyewitnesses, female Christians were not abused this time, but at least one male Christian were beaten by the interrogators, and 2 Christians were fined 50 Yuan (about 6 US$).”

CAA adds: “After the interrogation focused on the issue of the American Korean pastor is currently under residence surveillance in an unknown hotel, and the police have his passport. The local Christians are not able to converse with him.

“Among the 35 previously arrested, sister Fu Jufang and sister Rao were summoned again to the police station at 1pm on October 27(Beijing Time) and were released at 7pm after 6 hours of interrogation. Sister Zhou Li and another sister are also asked to go to the Yongfeng police station for further investigation next Monday.”

CAA also today formally announced the launch of a new website to promote and advance religious freedom for all in China. The name of this website is http://www.MonitorChina.org .

“We welcome the release of the arrested Chinese house church pastors and we hope the American Korean pastor can be allowed to come back home soon,” said Rev. Bob Fu, the president of CAA.

“We hope through timely, accurate and truthful reports as well as faithful actions, the Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be realized in China, which reads: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.'”

CAA gathers verifiable reports on threats and actions against the religious freedom of all people in China, regardless of their religious affiliation. The organization then urges proper actions by concerned communities to help advance religious freedom for all in China.

——————————————————————————–

China Aid Association
Contact: Bob Fu
Phone: (267) 205-5210
Fax: (432) 686-8355
info@ChinaAid.org
http://www.ChinaAid.org
http://www.MonitorChina.org

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House Church Christians File Lawsuit against Local PSB for Illegal Administrative Detention

Posted by radiofreechina on October 27, 2006

By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

Pastor Tian Yinghua standing outside her church

MIDLAND, TEXAS / SHANGDONG PROVINCE, CHINA (ANS) Three house church Christians in Bukou Town, Wendeng City, Shandong Province are suing the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) for illegal detention. According to China Aid Association (CAA), the three Christians, named as Tian Yinghua, Wang Qiu, and Jiang Rong, filed an administrative lawsuit against the local Public Security for illegal detention and requested the court find their administrative punishment illegal, revoke the punishment, and pay restitution.An e-mail report, obtained by ANS, says that on June 11, 2006, fifty Christians were attending a regular Sunday worship service when fifty Shandong Wendeng PSB policemen burst into the Bukou house church. The police entered the house without search or arrest warrants and illegally photographed and videotaped the Christians. They searched the house and took 31 Christians to the police station to be interrogated

China Aid says: “After the interrogations, the police released most of the Christians, but held Tian, Wang, and Jiang, who were put under administrative detention for 10 days based upon the punishment prescribed in the Law of the Peoples Republic of China on Public Order Management, Article 27, Item 2. They were charged with ‘violation of the religious management regulation, holding an illegal meeting, and illegal evangelism.'”

Believing such punishment was unacceptable, Tian, Wang, and Jiang submitted an application for Administrative Review to the local government via Dr. Li Baiguang, June 30, 2006, the China Aid reports states.

CAA adds: “The local government rejected their application September 28, 2006 and justified the local PSB’s handling of this case by stating that the police uniform and insignia are enough proof of police identification, thus no other identification is necessary; according to the Chinese law, the police can orally summon a criminal suspect and issue a formal summons later, which was the procedure followed by the PSB in this case.”

As a backup legal measure, Tian, Wang, and Jiang filed a lawsuit with the local court through Dr. Li Baiguang, October 12, 2006.

In his statement, Dr. Li Baiguang reiterated various illegal actions taken by the local PSB in the case and also enumerated the items in the Chinese constitution and other regulations to prove the lack of legal basis of the three Christians’ Administrative Detention by the local PSB.

Rev. Bob Fu, President of CAA said,”It is to be expected that the Administrative Review Application would be rejected, and there is limited possibility of the lawsuit’s success. But we hope that Christians in China will at least make use of what limited legal room they enjoy to strive for religious freedom. I believe success will come sooner or later through our perseverance.”

Concerned Christians may address their letters to:
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong,
Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
www.china-embassy.org/
TEL: 202-7456743
Fax: 202- 588-0032


For more information, please contact:
China Aid Association, Inc.
PO Box 8513 Midland, TX 79708
Contact: Bob Fu (267) 205-5210
Fax: (432) 686-8355
info@ChinaAid.org
www.ChinaAid.org  
www.monitorChina.org  

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Xinjiang Urumqi House Church Bible Training Attacked, 35 Christians Arrested Including an American-Korean Pastor

Posted by radiofreechina on October 26, 2006

American-Korean Pastor Arrested as 35 Christians Held in Attack on Xinjiang Urumqi House Church Bible Training

By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

MIDLAND, TEXAS / XIJIANG AUTONOMOUS REGION, CHINA (ANS) — Local police raided Qilin Mountain Villa in the suburb of Uramqi City, Xijiang Autonomous Region, when some Christians were having a Bible training program held by a Korean pastor from America.
China Aid Association (CAA) says there were 35 Christians taken to the Yongfeng Township Police Station for interrogation, including the American-Korean pastor and his interpreter.
The names of some of the Christians arrested are: Sister Zhou Li, Xia Lingzhi, Bao Lin, Ren Baolan, Feng Yan, Hu Ying.
CAA reports that Sister Zhou Li and sister Xia Lingzhi were put under custody for 2 weeks last year and fined because of regular service attendance. They were also abused during the interrogation.
An e-mail report from CAA, obtained by ANS, states: “Sister Xia Lingzhi is 66 years old. She suffers from coronary heart disease and high blood pressure, thus should not be detained in any harsh environment. CAA appeals the local police to release the Christians as soon as possible, for their belief does absolutely no harm to both the society and the nation.”

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China’s Information Minister Cai Wu tells a big one

Posted by radiofreechina on October 26, 2006

Criticism of Chinese censorship stems “from cultural misunderstanding”

Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Cai Wu, China’s information minister, said at an event sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, that international claims that his country tramples internet and media freedoms stem from a cultural misunderstanding of the role the press plays in Chinese society, where news media must work with the government. In his view, Chinese websites “offer probably the freest forum for opinion in the world”. Hence, Mr Cai rejected the US State Department’s annual global human rights report which accuses China of clamping down on print, broadcast and electronic media and censoring internet content.

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Li Jianping given two years for illegal activities on internet

Posted by radiofreechina on October 26, 2006

Li Jianping

Internet Essayist Li Jianping Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison (Human Rights in China)

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Shandong-based dissident Li Jianping has been sentenced to two years in prison, more than half a year after he went to trial and more than 500 days after he was first detained. On October 25, the Zibo City Intermediate People’s Court found Li guilty of “incitement to subvert state power” on the basis of articles he wrote that were posted on overseas Web sites. Li reportedly plans to appeal the verdict.
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Update on those Arrested at Church Demolition in Xioshan District

Posted by radiofreechina on October 25, 2006

Prosecution of 6 Zhejiang Christian Leaders Arrested in 7/29/06 Church Demolition Event Postponed Due to Insufficient Evidence
Case Sent Back To Public Security Bureau For More Evidence

By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
MIDLAND, TEXAS / ZHEJIANG PROVINCE, CHINA (ANS) — The local prosecutor in Xiaoshan district, Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province of China has decided not to prosecute the 6 Church leaders involved in a clash with authorities during the demolition of church property in July. However, six believers are still being held by local authorities. 

Pastor Wang Weling’s wife and mother await news of his situation. The Chinese pastor was one of six believers still being held by Chinese authorites.

China Aid Association (CAA) has learned the case has been returned to the local Public Security Bureau to gather more evidence. Family members of the indicted pastors were notified this decision on October 16, 2006.

According to information acquired by CAA, at the time of the event the church leaders implored the military police to postpone entering the construction site, and at the same time urged the Christians to leave quickly.

CAA says: “The potential large-scale clash was actually avoided on the spot. The local people’s prosecutor might find the charge of incitement to resist law-enforcement is not tenable. So the case was returned to the local PSB to gather more evidence.”

According to an expert legal analyst, the most optimistic prospect is that the case will be thrown out for lack of sufficient evidence, CAA explains.

In its report, CAA states: “It is well known that the local PSB began investigating an old case that was settled 3 years ago, known as the 8/22/04 event for short.

“In 2004, Xiaoshan churches held a series of open-air Gospel meetings to evangelize the nomadic workers in Xiaoshan. As the attendance increased vehemently, the local PSB intervened. On August 22, 2004 the police intercepted and arrested some Christians on their way to the meeting site. The issue was peacefully settled with an agreement between the local PSB and the church that stated that the PSB would stop the investigating if the church stopped holding similar activities and the negotiation was videotaped as a proof.”

CAA says the possibility still exists that the local PSB is investigating the legal responsibility of the church leaders in the 8/22/04 open air Gospel meeting event, because most of the church leaders were involved in both the 2004 and 2006 cases.

The 6 church leaders are all prestigious Christians in Xiaoshan, Rev. Bob Fu, the president of CAA said.

“They are absolutely law-binding and peaceful people of faith and we urge the Zhejiang authority to honor the rule of law and the spirit of religious freedom and to release them immediately,” Fu commented.

Bob Fu also expressed concern that some individuals in the Xiaoshan PSB broke the agreement made with the church in 2004. He said the local government authority will lose their credibility in the eyes of thousands of religious believers in the long run.

 

The 6 church members still imprisoned are:

Sister Shen Zhuke (52-year-old)
Brother Shen Chengyi (76-year-old)
Brother Ni Weimin (45-year-old)
Brother Wang Weiliang
Brother Guo Lijun

Telephone numbers of the leaders in charge of the departments involved in the persecution in Xiaoshan are as follows:

The deputy Public Security Bureau head: Xuan Zhuolin: +86-138-0575-2568 (he is in charge of almost all the previous persecution events in past years)
The head of United Front Department: Qiu Youlai +86- 139-5716-5666
The head of Religious Bureau: Lan Xiaohua (female) +86-139-6710-5506
Xiaoshan City Government office: +86–571-8289- 8210

Concerned Christians may also write to:
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong,
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
http://www.china-embassy.org/
TEL: 202-7456743 
Fax: 202- 588-0032

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Diesabled Chinese pastor sentenced for producing Christian literature

Posted by radiofreechina on October 22, 2006

Disabled Chinese pastor sentenced for producing Christian literature during Archbishop’s visit

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
CHINA (ANS) — As Chinese officials have been hosting Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual head of the world’s 77 million Anglicans, the seriousness of the restrictions on Christian activity in the country have been highlighted by the sentencing of a disabled pastor for printing Bibles and Christian literature.

Pastor Wang Zaiqing

According to a news release from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Pastor Wang Zaiqing, a well known house church pastor from Anhui province, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined 100,000 Yuan ($12,500.00), for producing Bibles and Christian materials. In a now familiar tactic, Pastor Wang was charged with conducting ‘illegal business practices’ even though he gave the literature away and made no profit.

“The verdict was announced on October 9, the same day the Archbishop, Dr. Rowan Williams, discussed the need for more pastors and theological training for the Church in China during his visit to Shanghai,” said the CSW release.

“Pastor Wang’s case is the third such prosecution for illegal business practices for production of Christian literature in the last year. It highlights the Chinese authorities’ tactic of criminalizing religious activities in order to disguise religious persecution under the cloak of the law.

“The most prominent of these cases has been that of well known Beijing house church leader Pastor Cai who was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal business practices on 8 November 2005 for producing Bibles and Christian literature. Pastor Cai was defended by Mr. Gao Zhisheng, the prominent lawyer who has been targeted for his fearless defense of religious freedom and human rights.

“Gao has been charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’. His lawyer received the notification of the decision to charge him during the Archbishop’s visit, on October 12. The charge followed weeks of silence after Gao’s removal by a dozen security officers on 15 August, prompting strong international criticism.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaking in China

In releasing the news of the sentence of Wang Zaiqing, Rev. Bob Fu of China Aid Association said: “It is totally unacceptable for the Chinese authorities to arrest this pious [disabled] pastor simply for printing Bibles. We appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will hold a press conference in Beijing Monday, October 23, at the conclusion of his visit to China, to voice his concerns on the situation of religious freedom in China”.

Tina Lambert, Deputy National Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide says: “It is sadly ironic that at the time Chinese officials are seeking to show progress in religious matters they are simultaneously sentencing a pastor for producing Christian literature. China claims to be afraid of cults, yet it suppresses production of Christian materials, forces groups to operate secretly and prevents them from running seminaries. Such policies simply create a breeding ground for heresies and unorthodox practice.

“It would make much better sense to allow all groups to operate freely in public without the current restrictions which breach international standards. For a long time now the unregistered church of China has been calling for the government to acknowledge and establish dialogue with its leaders. We hope that China will recognize that now is the time to take this step forward to provide concrete proof of its claims of progress in religious matters.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s two-week visit was aimed at boosting understanding between China’s state-sanctioned Protestant church and the world’s Anglicans, but China watchers believe that this latest news will no nothing to improve those relations

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VOA reports on rural unrest in China

Posted by radiofreechina on October 19, 2006

www.voanews.com 

The growing gap between the many poor and the few wealthy in China is feeding rising unrest. China’s Communist leadership reported at least 87,000 uprisings last year, most of them in the countryside. Rampant corruption, the lack of a social safety net and extensive environmental damage are fueling the discontent….

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China democracy dissident Chen Shuqing (陈树庆) arrested

Posted by radiofreechina on October 19, 2006

浙江中国民主党党员陈树庆被批捕 (Radio Free Asia) – translated to English

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Rights Lawyer Zheng Enchong Placed Under House Arrest, Dissident Writer Guo Qizhen Sentenced for Four Years

Posted by radiofreechina on October 19, 2006

郑恩宠仍被限制自由 郭起真被判刑4年 (Radio Free Asia) – translated to English

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