Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

House Church Christmas Services Raided Throughout Multiple Provinces

Posted by radiofreechina on December 20, 2007

Prominent House Church Leader Detained During Worship Service

December 19, 2007

   Henan Province- On December 16, 2007, Less than two weeks before
Christmas, China Aid has learned that, Pastor Liang Qi Zhen, Vice President
of the Chinese House Church Alliance, was detained by PSB officials in Er
Qi District. After disbursing Liang’s congregation, police officials took
him by force and transported him to an undisclosed location where he was
tortured for several hours. Liang’s ears and right hand were injured
during the lengthy assault. After being released, Liang was able to
identify the one who tortured him as Er Qi Security Bureau policeman, Li
Seng. No legal procedure was established during the entire incident. PSB
officials continue to threaten the church members to abstain from
gathering.

   Jiangsu Province- A house church in Chang Zhou City was attacked by
police officials in December during a Christmas celebration. The church,
led by Pastor Bu Ge Qiao, was in the midst of a Christmas service when
police raided the gathering and detained four female members. During the
apprehension police assaulted one of the members until she became
unconscious. She was later taken to the hospital. Her condition remains
unknown.

   Yunan Province- On December 5, 2007, policemen and members of the
Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs raided a house church meeting in
Kunming, and detained several members including, Ms. Piao Guihua, the
renter of the property. After searching the building, police seized several
hundred Christian books and note-pads, and then burned them outside the
residence. Police also destroyed the identification cards of three of the
church members.  After several hours of interrogation, the members were
released and told to remove all property from the residence by 10am. The
landlord of the building was also instructed to cease rental agreements
with Ms. Piao. The same house church has been raided on several occasions
beginning in December of 2004, September 2007, November 3, 2007, and
November 29 2007. In each instance, police officials have confiscated the
offering donations along with Bibles and other Christian literature. In
every raid, police officials have failed to issue legal documentation of
the property taken.

   Henan Province- On Tuesday, December 4, policeman in Lu Yi district,
Henan Province, assailed a local house church prayer meeting. Five church
members were detained and taken to the local police station for
interrogation. Their names are:

Shao Guang Rong (the pastor of the church), his wife Zhang Ji Zhi, Yan Qi
Ying, Cui LianZhi and Wang Xiao Jian.

The members were released on bail after 5 days detention, but not before
being forced to pay an 800 Yuen fee for food consumed during their
incarceration. According to several house church members, at the same time
their leaders were taken by the police, dozens of believers in another town
of the same district were also detained. No word concerning their release
has been heard.

   House church members, labeled by police officials as “cultists”,
are often sentenced to labor camps when they are detained by police. The
members detained in Henan Province are likely to face one year imprisonment
in such a labor camp.

“To arbitrarily arrest peaceful Christians for celebrating Christmas,
shows how much religious freedom Chinese people have,” said Bob Fu,
President of China Aid Association. “The international community should
be concerned for the increasing religious persecution in China in recent
months especially in light of the Beijing Olympics just a few months
away.”

   In spite of increasing persecution, house church members remain adamant
and vocal about celebrating the Christmas season. Services continue to be
held celebrating the birth of Christ, as members gather to sing songs and
worship despite fears of arrest and imprisonment.

Issued by CAA on December 19, 2007

 info@ChinaAid.org

http://www.ChinaAid.org

www.MonitorChina.org

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