Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Four Church Leaders Sentenced to Labor Camps as More Than 400 College Students in Beijing and Zhejiang Detained and Interrogated

Posted by radiofreechina on December 5, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, AND ZHEJIANG, CHINA (ANS) More than 400 Christian college students have been arrested and interrogated following raids on House Churches by Chinese authorities.

After conducting detailed investigations, ChinaAid has confirmed that from the end of September to early November 2008, a large police force was dispatched to raid house gatherings in Beijing and in areas near college campuses in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

ChinaAid found that more than 400 Christian college students were arrested and interrogated. House church leaders who led the gatherings were detained, and four were sentenced to re-education through labor for one to one and a half years.

House church members were accused of “preaching to students” and “engaging in cult activities.” The house church groups were all affiliated with the Local Church network founded by Witness Lee (1905-1997).

It is believed that this large-scale suppression by the Chinese authorities against the Christian college students in Beijing and Hangzhou is a part of the government’s efforts to limit citizens’ religious freedom after the Olympic Games.

ChinaAid calls on the relevant agencies in China to stop the harassment of house church Christians, return illegally confiscated funds and personal property, and immediately release the four church leaders who have been sentenced to re-education through labor.

Read more about the raid in Beijing:
http://chinaaid.org/2008/12/03/house-church-training-raided-in-beijing-110-interrogated-2-detained/

Read more about the raid in Hangzhou:
http://chinaaid.org/2008/12/03/nine-house-church-meetings-raided-simultaneously-in-hangzhou-city/

Read more about the Local Church:
http://chinaaid.org/2008/12/03/about-the-%E2%80%9Clocal-church%E2%80%9D-network/

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