30 House Church Leaders and Christians Arrested in Sichuan Province; 14 Received Criminal Detention After Brutal Abuse

June 30, 2006

WASHINGTON, June 29 /Christian Newswire/ — China Aid Association learned from May 27th to 28th 2006, thirty House Church leaders from Langzhong City, Sichuan Province were arrested and forced to pay fines, fourteen received criminal detention after they were brutally abused.

Eyewitnesses and family members of the victims reported to CAA that the raid and arrests happened from 11 AM on May 27th until 9 AM on 28th as this group was attending a church coworker’s fellowship meeting. After the meeting, fifteen members of the Public Security Bureau in 6 police vehicles raided the meeting. Some of the arrested were released on the 28th. The morning of the 29th, fourteen received criminal detention notices. They are Pastors LI Ming, WANG Yuan, LI Jinbo, LI Chengxi, SHI Zhihe, GOU Yongcai, JIN Jiyun, Sister WANG Shuhua, GOU Qingju, KE Xiufang, SUN Changfen, HU Yongju, ZHANG Shulan and LIAO Zhoulan.

Among the fourteen, Pastors LI Ming, WANG Yuan, LI Jinbo and JIN Jiyun are major leaders of the Chinese House Church Alliance. The Chinese House Church Alliance was established in 2004 and is made up of approximately three hundred thousand members from various house church movements scattered across twenty-one provinces.

Eyewitnesses said that during both the arrests and interrogations, the Christians were abused inhumanely by constant heavy beatings. Pastor LI Ming, who is one of the seven top national leaders of the House Church Alliance, was observed to have been beaten and kicked by 6 policemen about his head and abdomen during his arrest.

CAA also learned that in recent weeks a number of house churches from Beijing, Shangdong and Guangdong were forced to close by the local authorities.

“These illegal arrests and detentions are a very disturbing indication of the deteriorating condition of religious freedom in China,” said Bob Fu of CAA. “We call upon the international community to demand that the Chinese government honor their international obligations to respect and protect the religious freedoms of the Chinese citizens.” CAA called for the immediate release of these innocent Christian leaders. Letters of protest and concern can be sent to the Chinese Embassy.

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong,
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
TEL: 202-7456743
Fax:202- 588-0032 ; 202-7457473
Director of Religious Affairs: (202) 328-2512

Issued by China Aid Association, Inc. on June 29, 2006

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