Contact: Tracy Oliver, Media Coordinator, 267-210-8278, Tracy@ChinaAid.org; Mark Shan, Spokesperson, 617-943-1340, Mark@ChinaAid.org; both with ChinaAid, 888-889-7757, info@ChinaAid.org; www.ChinaAid.org, www.MonitorChina.org
BEIJING, Oct. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- Over the past few months, the Chinese government has been suppressing the 200 house church representatives who have been invited to attend the 3rd Lausanne World Evangelization Congress. According to information obtained by ChinaAid, all invitees, whether Uyghur Christians from Xinjiang or Han Christians from Beijing, have been contacted by authorities for questioning. Family members of the invitees have also been threatened.
Two underground Christians from Baotou City, Inner Mongolia were stopped by officials as they tried to depart for South Africa. On October 9, one of them was placed under a 15-day detention.
Five invitees were stopped by customs officials at the Beijing airport on October 10. Four had their passports confiscated; one was detained.
Dr. Fan Yafeng is a prominent legal scholar, leader of the Chinese Christian Legal Defense Association, and the winner of the 2009 John Leland Religious Liberty Award. He was harassed by Beijing police on October 12 after accepting an interview from National Public Radio pertaining to the Lausanne Congress. Twenty policemen were assigned to stop him from leaving his apartment.
According to inside sources, approximately 100 house church members and pastors will be arriving at Beijing International Airport to depart for the Lausanne Congress. On October 13, about 1,000 police officers arrived to prepare to restrain the believers and prevent them from boarding planes. The officers will have about a 10-to-1 advantage over the house church Christians.
Dr. Fan commented that underground Chinese Christians should not naively put hope in the Chinese Communist regime, and should place their trust in God, and continue to non-violently strive for religious freedom, human rights, rule of law and democracy in China. Dr. Fan strongly supports legal defense as a very effective tool. He also strongly criticized the persecution of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mr. Liu Xiaobo and his wife by Chinese government.
ChinaAid will continue to closely watch upcoming developments. ChinaAid encourages the organizers of the Lausanne Congress to refuse to be intimidated and speak on behalf of the persecuted Christians who have been invited to attend.
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