Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Archive for October, 2008

Congressional Leaders Issue Letter to Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice Urging Advocacy for Zhang Family

Posted by radiofreechina on October 24, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ANS) In response to the recent abuses committed by the Chinese Government against Zhang Mingxuan, the President of the 250,000-member Chinese House Church Alliance, two Congressional leaders have co-written a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Bike Zhang’s oldest son, Zhang Jian, after being beaten by China’s PSB officials

The letter urges the Cabinet member to request urgent action from the Chinese Government to free Zhang Mingxuan from his detention and to rectify the personal damages inflicted upon his family.

According to China Aid Association (CAA), Congressman Frank R. Wolf (R-VA) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) in July of 2008, had the opportunity to personally meet with Zhang Mingxuan and his wife in Beijing, despite Chinese Government interference.

During the meeting Zhang was able to personally share with the Congressmen the daily struggles and abuses he and fellow Christians face on a daily basis from the Communist Party of China.

The letter also calls upon the American Government and the Bush Administration not to ignore the reprehensible acts of the Chinese Government. The letter encourages the administration to bring International attention to the situation by publicly calling on the Chinese Government to release Zhang Minguxuan and his family members.

Furthermore, the letter directly confronts the Chinese Government of its hypocritical stance on international affairs by stating: “If the 2008 Beijing Olympics have taught us anything, it is that the Chinese government will go to any length to secure their image as a peaceful and harmonious society when the world is watching.”

Through advocating for Zhang and his family the current administration will have the chance to publicly condone the daily human rights violations perpetrated by the corrupt Communist Chinese Regime, and stand in unity with the persecuted citizens in China as both seek opportunities to advance freedom and democracy throughout the World.

The text of the letter from Congressmen Wolf and Smith to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is as follows:

“We write today to express our grave concern regarding the safety of Pastor Zhang Mingxuan and his family.We had the opportunity to meet Pastor Zhang and his wife, Xie Fenglan, during our trip to Beijing in July.

“We recently learned that Pastor Zhang was detained by state security officials in Kunming City, Yunnan province, on October 16and was scheduled to be transferred to the custody of security officials in Nanyang City, Henan province.

“Additionaly, Zhang Jian, Pastor Zhang’s oldest son, was severely beaten while his mother watched when Public Security Bureau (PSB) raided their home in Beijing. Zhang’s younger brother was also beaten by PSB
officials when he rushed to the aid of his injured brother. When Zhang Jian’s mother called the ambulance, the receptionist told her that she had been given orders by government officials not to dispatch any emergency personnel to the Zhang’s home.

“After a prolonged period, a friend of the family was able to drive Zhang Jian to the hospital to receive treatment. He was so badly beaten that the doctors believe he may never regain sight in his right eye. Zhang Jian
recently was told by government officials that despite his condition, if he did not leave Beijing he would be arrested and detained for assaulting the officers who raided his home and beat him unconscious.

“Subsequently, Pastor Zhang’s wife was detained on October 19 by Chinese authorities and her whereabouts are currently unknown.

“The United States cannot continue to implicitly condone the reprehensible and unjust actions of the Chinese government by remaining silent and turning a blind eye. If the 2008 Beijing Olympics have taught us anything, it is that the Chinese government will go to any length to secure their image as a peaceful and harmonious society when the world is watching.

“We urge you to seize this opportunity to once again turn the attention of the world to China by publicly calling on the government to release Pastor Zhang and his family. These are decent good-hearted individuals.

“Do not let the opportunity slip by to stand in solidarity with the Chinese people by advocating for justice for the Zhang family. Should the administration fail to act on this case, it will serve as a symbol of the broken promises President Bush made to promote freedom and democracy throughout the world.

“While addressing the British Parliament on the issue of slavery William Wilberforce stated, ‘Having heard all this you may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say that you did not know.’

“Please do not look the other way.”


Contact: Daniel Burton, China Aid Association, Inc., 432-689-6985, 267-205-5210, info@ChinaAid.org ; www.chinaaid.org , www.monitorchina.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Zhang Mingxuan and Son Jian’s Conditions Updated

Posted by radiofreechina on October 24, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) For the first time since his disappearance on Oct. 16, Pastor Bike Zhang contacted his eldest son, Zhang Jian, via phone on October 22, from an undisclosed location.

Pastor Bike Zhang (right) and his son, Zhang Jian

China Aid Association (CAA) says Pastor Bike was restricted from disclosing his location as well as further details of where he is being held.

Bike Zhang was able to relay to his son that he was physically detained during a flight by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers and has been in detention since that time. He is expected to be transported to Nanyang City on October 24.

CAA says the reason for the relocation and action of the PSB is unknown at this time. Pastor Bike’s wife and sister have also been placed under “soft detention” in a PSB-operated Beijing hotel. Both of the women’s cell phones have been confiscated and were restricted from their freedom of travel by authorities.

CAA has also learned that Zhang Jian, elder son of House Church Alliance President, Bike Zhang, was strongly recommended to sign a mediation agreement with Beijing PSB authorities or face imprisonment.

In an e-mail to ANS, CAA says: “The initial agreement was given to Jian to settle his medical reimbursements through the PSB office. Further compounding Jian’s struggle is the fact that the Beijing officials have forced Jian to accept the PSB’s office’s medical evaluation of his injuries rather than that of an objective medical professional.

“China’s Government only recognizes Police Medical reports for the litigation process. Unwilling to be separated from his wife and one-year-old son, Jian chose to sign the agreement which stipulated he had received only minor injuries despite hospital records indicating severe injuries requiring complicated surgery.”

CAA also reports that renowned Beijing attorney, Li Heping, committed to accompany Jian to the PSB office, but was stopped by several PSB officials at the gates of the PSB office in Chaoyang District and prevented from entering the building.
CAA further says that after China Aid reported about the attack against Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan’s family by the Chinese government and hired thugs, American churches and individuals expressed deep concern.

One example is a letter sent from two pastors from Midcities Community Church to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

In the letter, the two pastors, representing about 1,500 believers in their congregation, expressed concern regarding the attack and also encouraged others in the international community to speak out, stating that, “We encourage the international community to continue to voice your concern on the increasing religious persecution in China and urge China to honor the spirit of rule of law and her international obligation to respect citizens’ freedom of worship.”

CAA says it will continue to monitor the situation.

Voice your concern for this incident by contacting:
Chinese Ministry of Justice
Wang Lixian
010-65206706

For more information please visit:
www.ChinaAid.org  and www.MonitorChina.org

Posted in News Of China | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Chinese Pastor Bike’s Son Regains Consciousness; Family Continues to be Harassed by Public Security Bureau Officers

Posted by radiofreechina on October 20, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) Zhang Jian, the oldest son of Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan, has regained consciousness in the Emergency Room at Beijing Min Hang (Aviation) Hospital.

According to China Aid Association (CAA), Zhang Jian was severely beaten with iron bars at his mother’s home for 25 minutes by 15 Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers on October 16, 2008. The family was then evicted and their furniture thrown into the street. China Aid has been in constant communication with this family facing severe persecution by the Chinese government.

China Aid’s president, Bob Fu, spoke with Zhang Jian this morning. He is still in very serious condition. His right eye is severely wounded and doctors are not sure if he will regain his sight. His nose bone and eye bone are both broken and doctors say he needs further CAT scans and surgery.

In an e-mail to ANS, China Aid says: “Even though his physical condition is very bad, Zhang Jian has left the hospital because PSB officers have been watching him there, and he was afraid for his safety. He went to his brother’s home, but PSB officers followed him. The officers warned Zhang Jian and his brother, Zhang Chuang, not to leave the apartment before October 20, the date of the celebration Pastor Bike organized for the third anniversary of the Chinese House Church Alliance.”

Meanwhile, China Aid has received several calls from different house church leaders who have also been warned not to go to Beijing or attend the celebration.

The China Aid e-mail says: “Zhang Jian’s mother was ordered by police today to take care of the furniture and personal items that officers threw into the street during yesterday’s attack on the family. The family is struggling financially to pay for the hospital bills, food, shelter and legal help. ChinaAid is working to send emergency help to Zhang Jian and his family.
“Police have also attempted to shut down the house church where Zhang Jian’s father preaches. On October 10, police sealed the door of the church and blocked it with two truckloads of garbage. Officials are blocking anyone wishing to enter, even though on September 28, officials gave permission for the house church to meet. They have also cut off the electricity to the church.

“The physical assault on Zhang Jian is the most serious of the recent attacks on Zhang Jian and his family. During the past 22 years, Zhang Jian’s father, Pastor Bike, has been arrested 26 times, beaten and evicted from his home numerous times because of his faith. Despite the persecution, this family continues to boldly preach and help the house church Christians.”

View photos of the Pastor Bike’s sealed house church doors which police blocked with piles of garbage here at: http://chinaaid.org/2008/10/17/photos-of-pastor-zhangs-church-blocked-by-garbage/ .

Write to the Chinese Embassy to voice your concern over violent police assault on Zhang Jian and the persecution of his family:
Chinese Embassy in Washington DC
2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 338-6688, (202) 588-9760
Fax: (202) 588-9760

Help to Zhang Jian and his family with a gift to ChinaAid at: http://chinaaid.org/take-action .

For more information please visit:
www.ChinaAid.org  and www.MonitorChina.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Son of Pastor Bike Zhang in Critical Condition after Severe Beating from PSB officials

Posted by radiofreechina on October 17, 2008

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) China Aid Association (CAA) says that it has learned that Zhang Jian, the elder son of Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan, was severely beaten by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials while at home with his mother, Xie Fenglan, in Beijing on Thursday, October 16.

Pastor Bike Zhang and Son, Zhang Jian

A CAA spokesperson told ANS that Xie Fenglan has testified that at about noon Beijing time, 15 Beijing PSB officers entered their residence and secured the exits before severely beating Zhang Jian with iron bars for 25 minutes.

“As Zhang Jian lay bleeding profusely, his mother called an ambulance, but the receptionist told her that a higher government authority gave a directive not to dispatch any ambulance to rescue her son because he is related to Pastor Bike Zhang,” said the CAA spokesperson.

“Zhang Jian’s mother then called her younger son, Zhang Chuang, who rushed to the house where he was also beaten by the same authorities. After some time, a personal friend of the Zhang family was able to take Zhang Jian to the Beijing Min Hang (Aviation) Hospital emergency room where Zhang Jian remains now.

“His doctor said Zhang Jian’s right eye may lose sight forever because of the severe damage resulting from the repeated beating. Pastor Bike Zhang, who was traveling in Yunnan province at the time, is currently unable to be contacted. It is assumed that he has been detained by authorities.”

CAA said that Pastor Bike Zhang’s wife, Xie Fenglan, was kicked out of her legally rented apartment, located at Room 206-102 at the Beijing Olympic Garden apartments, after her elder son Zhang Jian was sent to the hospital. The family’s furniture was thrown into the street. Government authorities ordered all hotels in Beijing not host her so she is now residing at Dr. Fan Yafeng’s home. Dr. Fan, a house church leader in Beijing, is an internationally renowned Chinese Constitutional law scholar and rights defender.

“China Aid strongly condemns the unjust and criminal actions of the Chinese government,” said the spokesperson. “The brutal and unprovoked assaults on innocent civilians are acts of desperation and cowardice of a regime that has continued to ignore basic human rights and freedoms despite outcries from the international community. These reprehensible acts by the Chinese government should serve as a reminder to the international community that the Communist Party of China is only interested in self-preservation and will gladly sacrifice its own citizens’ freedoms in order to maintain its corrupt power.”

During the past 22 years, Pastor Bike and his family members have been arrested, beaten and evicted from their home numerous times because of their Christian faith, yet he and his family continue to serve the house church Christians in Beijing. China Aid says that it is standing with the Zhang family and will continue to send out updates on their situation.

Contact Zhang Jian’s mother, Xie Fenglan, for an interview at +86-10-62547185.

For more information, go to Website: www.ChinaAid.org

Posted in News Of China | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Shandong House Church Raided, Hymnals and Cross Confiscated

Posted by radiofreechina on October 2, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

SHANDONG PROVINCE, CHINA (ANS) China Aid Association (CAA) reports that on September 20, 2008 at 9:30 a.m., about 20 plainclothes officers raided City Glory Gospel Church in Yantai, Shandong province.

According to CAA, officers forced members of the house church to register their names and leave the meeting site. Authorities also confiscated the property of the Christians, including the collection box, a large cross, Bibles and hymnals. Officials told the church members they had been tipped off about the meeting.

CAA says Pastor Liu and his wife, who were visiting from Taiwan, were speaking on prayer and parent-child relationships to the approximately 60-member congregation when the meeting was raided. Section Chief Sun Jing from Yantai Municipal Bureau of Religion and Director Sun Liping from Zhifu District Bureau of Religion showed their identification. Other officials were present, including the Deputy Director of the Municipal Bureau of Religion and authorities from the Public Security Bureau and Bureau of Security. Four of the officials were holding camcorders and cameras.

Pastor Liu, his wife and one church member were each taken to different rooms for more than two hours of interrogation. Afterwards, police demanded Pastor Liu and his wife no longer have contact with the church, CAA said.

CAA explains that law enforcement officials took the hard disk from one church member’s computer and copied all the content. They also seized the collection box, a large cross, 15 Bibles and 42 hymnals.

Officials later returned the Bibles, but on September 27 the church received a “Notice of Hearing on Administrative Penalty” and “Notice of Administrative Penalty” from the District Bureau of Religion. The Christians were told that the official charge is “setting up a gathering site without approval.” The documents are reproduced below.

****************

Zhifu District Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs of Yantai Municipality
Yan Zhi Min Zong Han [2008] No. 1

 

September 28, 2008

Lingyi Kong,

The investigation conducted by our bureau according to law on the case involving the Christian gathering site established without proper approval in the meeting room on the fourth floor of the guest house of Bureau of Machinery of Yantai (26, Hongyuan Lane, Zhifu District, Yantai) is now over. Based on our study, this bureau has made the following decision on the objects registered as stored (for details, please see ‘Notice of Registered and Stored Objects’) We will confiscate one collection box, one cross (made of wood), 27 copies of “Praising the Lord,” and 15 copies of “Hymns.” 15 Bibles will be returned to you. The penalty decision statement of confiscating one collection box, one cross (made of wood), 27 copies of “Praising the Lord” and 15 copies of “Hymns” will be issued after the deadline of the application for a hearing.

********************

Zhifu District Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs of Yantai.
Notice of Registered and Stored Objects

September 20, 2008

Lingyi Kong,

As for the case involving “holding religious activities at a non-religious site and accepting religious donation,” it is decided to register and store the following objects of your work unit pursuant to Clause 2, Article 37 of the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty.” Time of storage: seven days from September 10, 2008; location of storage: ____________; manner of storage: _____________. During this time, the following objects may not be used, sold or moved to another location and they must not be changed from their original status.

1. One collection box and one cross (made of wood)

2. Bibles, Praising the Lord, Hymns and other religious promotional materials.

3. 15 Bibles, 27 copies of “Praising the Lord” and 15 copies of “Hymns.”

I have read the above document and I agree with it.

Lingyi Kong

***************************

Notice of Administrative Penalty
September 27, 2008

Yan Zhi Min Zong Gao Zhi (2008) No. 1

Lingyi Kong,

The investigation conducted by our bureau according to law on the case involving the Christian gathering site established without proper approval in the meeting room on the fourth floor of the guest house of Bureau of Machinery of Yantai (26, Hongyuan Lane, Zhifu District, Yantai) is now over. Pursuant to Articles 31 and 32 of the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty,” you are hereby notified of the facts, grounds and basis of the administrative penalty imposed by this bureau:

Pursuant to Articles 13 and 15 of the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” of the State Council which provides that people who intend to establish a site for religious activities should apply for review, approval and registration as provided by law. It is found through investigations that the site for Christian activities you established in the meeting room on the fourth floor of the guest house of the Bureau of Machinery of the city never went the proper procedures of review, approval or registration. Based on the above facts and pursuant to Article 43 of the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” of the State Council, this site for Christian activities should be abolished according to law and the cross, the collection box, “Praising the Lord” and the “Hymns” shall be confiscated.

You have the right to make a statement and make your arguments on this matter and your punishment will not be increased because you argue your case. If you demand to make a statement or arguments, you should submit your application within three days of receiving this notice.

************************************

Notice of Hearing on Administrative Penalty
Yan Zhi Min Zong Gao Zhi (2008) No. 1

September 27, 2008

Lingyi Kong,

Your (your work unit) conduct of establishing a site for religious activities without proper approval in the meeting room on the fourth floor of the guest house of the Bureau of Machinery of Yantai (26, Hongyuan Lane, Zhifu District of Yantai) has violated Articles 13 and 15 of the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” of the State Council. Pursuant to Article 43 of the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” of the State Council, this bureau is planning to make the following decisions on you (your work unit): 1) abolish the site for religious activities established in the meeting room on the fourth floor of the guest house of the Bureau of Machinery of Yantai (26, Hongyuan Lane, Zhifu District, Yantai); 2) confiscate the cross, collection box, Praising the Lord and Hymns found within this site.

Pursuant to Article 42 of the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty” and the “Implementation Methods of Hearing Procedure on Administrative Penalty of Shandong Province,” you (your work unit) has the right to a hearing. If you request a hearing, please apply for it at this bureau within three days of receiving this notice. Failure to apply by the due date shall be regarded as a forfeiture of the right to the hearing.

Address of this bureau: 76, Shifu Street, Zhifu District, Yantai.
Tel: 6215520

***********

CAA requests that concerned Christians send their letters of support for City Glory Gospel Church to:

Director Sun Liping
Zhifu District Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs of Yantai Municipality
76, Shifu Street, Zhifu District, Yantai
Tel: 0535-6215520

Director Qu Xiangwen
Yantai Municipal Bureau of Ethnic Religious Affairs
17-3, W. Yuhuangding Road, Yantai
Tel: 0535-6252597
Fax: 0535-6240140
Section Chief Sun Jing: 0535-6240113


China Aid Association, Inc.
Tel: (267) 205-5210
Fax: (432) 686-8355
E-mail: info@ChinaAid.org
Website: www.ChinaAid.org  
www.MonitorChina.org
Contact: Daniel Burton (432) 689-6985

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »