8 house church leaders detained in Shandong and Shaanxi Provinces
Posted by radiofreechina on June 27, 2007
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
MIDLAND, TEXAS (ANS) — Eight house church leaders have been detained in the Chinese provinces of Shandong and Shaanxi during June 2007.
China Aid Association (www.chinaaid.org) says that according to reliable sources from both church leaders and the relatives of the detainees, at 10:30am, June 9, 2007, 12 church leaders were arrested while they were distributing Bibles in a market place in Jiaocheng county, Shaanxi province. Four of them were released at the same day while the rest of them were transferred to Jiaocheng Detention center at 4am on June 10.
On June 15, 6 more church leaders were released from their detention center without any legal paper or explanation from the PSB. The other two detained pastors, pastor Zhou Jieming and pastor Niu Wenbin were accused as “suspects of using evil cult to obtruct of the enforcement of the law” and put in criminal detention.
Their houses were searched without showing search warrants on June 10 and 12 respectively. Eyewitness reports to CAA that many bibles and other Christian literatures were confiscated. The PSB officers told the family members of the detained pastors that “any religious activities without permission from the government Religious Affairs Bureau is regarded as evil cult activities.” Church leaders fear that these two detained pastors could face up to three years re-education through labor sentence.
Meanwhile, since June 15, 2007, six house church leaders in Shandong province have been detained. Church sources told CAA that at 4pm on June 15, while having a house church worship service at Zhangba village, Wulou town, Cao county, six house church leaders were taken away by the PSB of Cao county.
Among them, pastor Zhang Gaiming(43-year-old) and pastor Sun Qingwen(43-year-old) were from Shangqiu county, Shandong province while the other four pastors inculding Ms. Peng Yufeng(42-year-old) and pastor Zhao Yongsheng(50-year-old) are local house church pastors. The names of the other two detainees were not available. All of the six are detained in Cao County Detention center. They are threatened with being sent to re-education through labor camp if they refused to pay 10,000yuan($1500).
CAA appeals to the Chinese authorities to unconditionally release these 8 innocent house church leaders.