Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

House Church Leader Arrested as Chinese Believers Ready to Welcome President Bush; Deeply Concerned over President Bush’s Second Visit to Government Sanctioned Church

Posted by radiofreechina on August 8, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) — Three days before the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, China Aid Association (CAA) has learned that House Church Alliance President, Zhang Mingxuan, together with his wife , has been detained by Chinese Authorities. The two, along with a fellow pastor, are being held in an undisclosed location in Henan Province.

The arrest comes on the eve of President George Bush’s visit to China for the Beijing Olympic Games.

According to CAA, President Bush has been a stalwart supporter of the Chinese House Church and Religious freedom within China since his inauguration. In order to further his commitment to the House Church, President Bush has committed to visit the Kuanjie Protestant Church at the behest of the Chinese Government.

According to PRC officials the Kuanjie Protestant Church is a Government sanctioned church which has incorporated House Church Christians into its ranks therefore validating to the World the CPC’s tolerance of religious worshipers.

CAA says that in reality however, “China’s embracing of Kuanjie Church is a misleading and deceptive ploy used by China to deceive the international community into believing the CPC is no longer persecuting Christians.”

Upon further investigation of Kuanjie Church, CAA has found that the so-called “House Church incorporation,” is nothing more than a series of Government-sanctioned “House Cells” that have permission from the CPC to meet outside of the Government sanctioned building.

CAA says these “cells” are lead by pastors who have been trained and appointed by the Government and who are required to obey all rules dictated by the TSPM (Government “Three Self Patriotic Movement”) Church.

CAA states: “By creating such a system the Chinese Government has created a false sense of inclusion of house churches into mainstream society and has deceived many world and even evangelical leaders into believing China has ceased religious persecution. Unfortunately, this deception has lead to the increasing persecution of the House Churches across China. With outside leaders adding validity to the TSPM churches, House Churches are constantly being painted as dissenters and lawbreakers, while simply trying to worship in true freedom.”

China Aid urges President Bush as well as other leaders to not be deceived by the Communist Party of China’s ploys to appear as if they are tolerant of Religion while at the same time brutally persecuting House Churches and their members across China.

In order to view a full length letter from House Church Pastor Luke Zhang, outlining the Church as well as President Bush’s visit, click here: http://www.earnedmedia.org/Pastor%20Luke%20Zhang%20Appeal%20Letter.pdf

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