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40 Christians Arrested in Nanyang, 16 Sentenced to Administrative Detention

Contact: Katherine Cason, 267-210-8278, Katherine@ChinaAid.org; Washington, D.C. Contact: Jenny McCloy, 202-213-0506, Jenny@ChinaAid.org; both with ChinaAid; www.ChinaAid.org, www.MonitorChina.org


HENAN, China, Dec. 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- In Taoling village, Pushan town, Nanyang city, Henan, more than 40 Christians were detained at a Christian leaders' gathering on December 16, 2008. Officials told them they must pay a 1,000 to 2,000 yuan fine to be released. Some Christians were released after paying the fine. However, 16 Christians were sentenced to 10 to 15 days administrative detention for engaging in an "illegal religious gathering." Mr. Yan Linshan, the host of the meeting received 10 days of administrative detention and a 1,000 yuan fine. 



Police Forcibly Escort Pastor "Bike" Zhang Mingxuan Out of Beijing
BEIJING -- This morning around 9:45 a.m. (US-CST), 11:45 p.m. in Beijing, Pastor "Bike" Zhang Mingxuan called ChinaAid from the back of a police car where he was being forcibly escorted from Beijing to Hubei province by three Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers. The PSB officers dropped off Pastor Bike at a hotel in Hubei with 20 yuan to pay for a room. This is the second time in two weeks Pastor Bike has been forcibly escorted out of Beijing. 
During the call, PSB officers raised the volume of the car radio to try and drown out the conversation, but Pastor Bike was able to communicate to ChinaAid some of the details of the incident. Around 11:15 p.m. Pastor Bike, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance house church network, was staying with Pastor Hua Huiqi at his home when three PSB officers pounded on the door. According to Pastor Bike, two of the officers, Officer Yang and Officer Qin, were from the Beijing PSB, and they had been ordered by a higher government authority to force Pastor Bike to leave Beijing. The other officer was from the district PSB. Pastor Bike says he thinks he has been secretly followed and watched since he was forced out of Beijing on December 9.
On December 9, Pastor Bike was staying with Pastor Hua Huiqi when police broke into the home around 11: 30 p.m. This incident happened on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the UN's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the signing of "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" by the Chinese government.
Radio Free Asia interviewed Pastor Bike and Pastor Hua a day after the incident. According to Radio Free Asia, Pastor Hua shared, "Zhang Mingxuan let me read the document of abolishing the alliance. Then, we had a dinner in the evening. At 11:30, the police broke in when my door was not locked. Wang Xiaoyi from Fengtai District Bureau of Religion and some agents in charge of religious affairs from Fengtai District Domestic Defense Protection Squad and several police officers dragged and pushed me into another room, claiming that they wanted to talk to me. I told them I had a guest in my home and they shouldn't tell me that my guest couldn't stay here. He [Pastor Bike] and I hadn't seen each other for quite some time. The police blocked me in that room and wouldn't let me go to the other room, saying, 'We don't allow you to receive him as a guest.' ... It was 10 minutes to 12 o'clock when Pastor Zhang Mingxuan was escorted by force to a police vehicle. He and I are personal friends. Since he came to Beijing, we have been very good friends. We are also very good brothers in Christ and there is nothing wrong in receiving him as a guest."
Police harassed Pastor Hua, as well, trying to convince him to cooperate. Pastor Hua's mother, Shuang Shuying, 78, is currently in prison. She is serving a two-year sentence for "intentional damage of properties" in February 2007.  Pastor Hua said, "The Municipal Public Security Bureau has been telling me that as long as I cooperate with them, I can, first of all, make a fortune and then I can also get my mother out."  Pastor Hua says the requirements for "cooperation" include spying on other Christians and not helping those who are persecuted. Pastor Hua regularly hosts persecuted Christians in his home and helps them pursue legal cases. 

Read Radio Free Asia's full report and interviews of Pastor "Bike" Zhang Mingxuan and Pastor Hua Huiqi.