Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

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

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