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13 House Church Leaders Detained in Sichuan Province

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

SICHUAN, April 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- CAA has learned that thirteen house church leaders were detained at Qu county, Sichuan province on March 30. According to an eyewitness within the church there, around 3pm March 29th, Saturday afternoon, a house church service was attacked during their praise and worship service. The church is in Qu county, Dazhou city which is 6 hours drive from Chengdu city, Sichuan Province. Seven believers were taken by a group of people who claimed to be from the local religious affairs bureau, community administration and national security.  Their names are Wang Qingxiu, Zhou Yanmei, Zhang Mingxiu, Luo Qinghua, Wan Huabi, Wang Zhenping, and Yan XX.  Wan Huabi and Wang Zhenping were released after the interrogation.  Around 6pm Wang Zhenping was notified by the detention center that Wang Qingxiu was there.  Luo Qinghua was found in the detention center the next day.  The other three sisters are also in the detention center.

Photo: Criminal Detention Notice for Wan Huabi

In the morning of March 30th, nine sisters and four children were taken by policemen after their Sunday school service was let out. Another sister who was working in the cloth market was taken at the same time. All children and two elderly believers were released after the interrogation. Seven of them are still in the detention center, and one sister is missing.

According to three copies of official criminal detention notices obtained by CAA, which were issued to family members of Ms. Wan Huabi, Ms. Wang Qingxiu and Ms. Lei Shibi on March 30, 2008 by the PSB of Qu County, Sichuan province, these arrested leaders were accused of being "suspected of using an evil cult to obstruct the enforcement of the law." Ms. Li Xianbi, 59 years old, who was the host of the Sunday worship at her house on March 30, received 5 days administrative detention for "illegal gathering for evil cult activities."

"We are deeply concerned about the well-fare of these detained Christian leaders, " said Rev. Bob Fu, " their arbitrary detention totally contradicts the spirit of rule of law. It is another step backward toward improving the religious freedom record in China as the Chinese government promised both before and after the 2008 Olympics was awarded to Beijing."

To voice your concern please contact:
Chinese Embassy in Washington DC
Address: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 338-6688, (202)5889760
Fax: (202) 588-9760
Issued by CAA April 4, 2008