Senior House Church Leader Issues Open Letter to Chinese Communist Party Leader for Religious Freedom -- Shandong House Church Christians Won Legal Battle Against PSB After Being Raided
Contact: Bob Fu, China Aid Association, Inc., 432-689-6985, 267-205-5210, info@ChinaAid.org; www.ChinaAid.org, www.monitorChina.org
MIDLAND, Texas, Nov. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- China Aid Association is authorized to release an open letter to Chinese Communist Party leader President Hu Jintao issued by Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of Chinese House Church Alliance. (CHCA)
Photo: Pastor Zhang Mingxuan was sharing the Bible with kids on the street, hi-resolution version
In the open letter, after sharing how he became a House Church Christian and leader of CHCA, pastor Zhang lists series of severe persecutions including beatings, imprisonments, and tortures. Despite CHCA's enormous charitable contributions helping numerous orphans and homeless, CHCA had been under increasing persecution especially before and after the CCP's 17th Congress this year. Pastor Zhang and his family had been asked by the local police to shut down his house church and his school as well as an orphanage nearby Beijing.
Pastor Zhang believe that "this persecution is a result of the corruption of officials subordinate to the central government, failure to enforce the law in a strict way, distortion of facts, and evildoing and collusion between the local despots and the officials." So he calls upon President Hu to listen to the suffering of the innocent persecuted Christians.
Pastor Zhang in his letter implores President Hu "to seriously consider the misery of the common people and urge the officials subordinate to you to stop persecuting Christians and implement their promises in the Constitution on religious freedom... just as you said, we can have a harmonious society when we build it on the foundations of love, friendship, fairness and justice."
Finally, pastor Zhang expresses that the desire of Chinese Christians is "to win justice for the common people in China so that the Chinese society is full of love and care and that China can become free, prosperous, and a real powerful country in the 21st century in both soul and in social system. We sincerely pray to the Lord to punish the evil and promote the good so that the common people can receive blessings and that China will have real religious freedom. I believe this is also the wish of President Hu. I hereby pray to God to bless you and all the officials in power, to give them more wisdom in ruling China."
CAA has also learned the encouraging news that after a house church in Linyi city, Shandong Province was raided by police, the house Christians fought back in court and won back their rights and confiscated property.
The house church in the suburb of Linyi city led by Pastor Gao Wendong was raided on May 31, 2007 by several dozens of policemen armed with batons. The police confiscated many objects in the house, including over 300 copies of the Bible, over 600 other books, three computers, copiers, DVD players, Ping Pong table and cash. With the help of Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, the Christians, represented by Beijing Christian attorney Ms. Wu Chenglian, sued the police in the court at Hedong District Branch of the Public Security Bureau. After some detours and bumps, the police finally capitulated and returned on November 17, 2007 all they had confiscated from the church.
Click for full text of the legal appeal paper
Click for full text of the open letter by pastor Zhang Mingxuan:
A Letter to President Hu Jintao from Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, President of Chinese House Church Alliance
12:50 a.m., November 20, 2007
Dear respectable President Hu Jintao,
How are you? We appreciate your hard work.
Greetings from Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, son of God, follower of Jesus Christ and servant of the Lord!
President Hu, the Holy Spirit has moved me to write this following letter to you at 23:00 near midnight. I know you are sitting far away in the Central Party Committee and I would like to know if you know what is going on in the rest of China under your leadership, and if you know the hardship among the common people. I would also like to know if you know how the subordinate government officials, at all levels, knowingly violate and defy the laws of the land.
I used to be a barber. After I believed in Jesus Christ, God treated me well and let me become a pastor. Now I am the president of the Chinese House Church Alliance and a servant working for God and doing the duty of the sons and daughters of God. In such a position, I am making my contribution to the prosperity, strength and harmony of China. We do charities and accept homeless orphans and help Christians in misery. However, these good deeds become reasons for your subordinates at all levels of government to persecute us. I believe this is not your idea, but I also believe that China has promised the United Nations in various policies that Christians at house churches may hold an assembly without registration and other policies on religious freedom. It is my belief that this persecution is a result of the corruption of officials subordinate to the central government, failure to enforce the law in a strict way, distortion of facts and evildoings and collusion between the local despots and the officials.
President Hu, are you aware that the officials under you arrest, beat and drive away the Christians from their homes? Our brothers and sisters are being detained because they do not bribe the officials. Do you not think their souls will tell God about their sufferings? Is it true that President Hu has not heard anything about this after you have made so many overt and covert trips in China? Are you really apathetic to all of this?
President Hu, I was selected by God 21 years ago. Belief in Jesus has changed my life. A sinner became the son of God and I no longer sinned. All the glory in this belongs to our Lord Christ. Two months and three days after I accepted the Lord, I was illegally beaten by Tanghe County Public Security Bureau of Nanyang Municipality, Henan Province. I was imprisoned for 185 days. I had very good lessons in law in the prison for over half a year. Finally, I was released on no charges on March 22, 1987. After I went to Beijing, I sued director of the court for Tanghe County Public Security Bureau and I was recompensed for the wrongs I suffered. From that time on, I went all over China in 1998, on a bike, to preach the Gospel, save the people, help the people and pray for China. In a period of four months, I traveled over 30,000 li of distance through cold winters and hot summers. After I came back, I sold all my properties to preach the Gospel and arrived in Beijing on January 20, 1999.
In the ten years I lived in Beijing, I preached the Gospel and built churches, for which I was arrested, beaten, robbed and driven away by the public security agencies. I then realized that the change of this country not only needs external reform, but the key is the updating of the soul as "the result of a lifetime comes from the heart." In 1999, I was again taken to a mental hospital and was confined there for 13 days because of preaching the Bible.
On February 21, 2002, we had a meeting of testimonies at the residence of Beiqi in Changping. At the time, US President Bush was visiting China for the first time. Changping Public Security Bureau took away 47 of us Christians, including three of whom were blind (two of whom were over 80 and one whom was only seven.)
After that, I resided in a rental house in Dongbai Township in Chaoyang District where I was often threatened by the public security people who tried to scare me away. Since they could not find any fault with me, they threatened my landlord and told him to make me move. As a result, they made it impossible for me to earn a livelihood. So, I moved with my family five times in half a month. Later, we moved back to the suburb of Sanheyan in Hebei Province where we lived for over two years.
On May 20, 2005, the Chinese House Church Alliance was established. Our hopes were to help the Christians and Churches in China. We did not have any political goals. In a tavern deep in the mountains of Gezhuang, Laishuigou in Baoding, over 40 of us Christians were arrested by Bureau of Religious Affairs and the police. They interrogated me for over five hours. Again, I was released with no charges.
During President Bush's visit to China, he invited several of us Christians in a morning prayer. On November 18, 2005, as soon as my son and I arrived at the West Railroad Station of Beijing, we were taken away by the police for no apparent reason. We were escorted to Sheqi County in Henan Province where we stayed for four days. For no apparent reason, they refused to let me process my passport and prohibited me from processing entry and exit papers for two years, claiming that I was prohibited by law from leaving the country. They deprived me of my freedom as a citizen. Petitions on several occasions produced no results. In the meantime, they also unreasonably seized our identification cards and detained them for a year and a half.
The 17th National Congress of your party was held on October 15, but we did not know your date at all beforehand. Your congress was held on the same day as the ordination service of our Chinese House Church Alliance. Again, because of this, we attracted a high level of attention from government officials at all levels subordinate to you who want to ensure your peace and the delegates of central government officials. To achieve this, they stalked us Christians and placed us under their supervision and control. They raided our orphanage and school at Yanjiao Village in Hebei Province and threatened the students there. They also persecuted the brigade in the village and threatened by saying that if we did not move in three days, they would cut off our water, electricity and road access. They said I was illegally adopting orphans and now they make threats to two of my sons and want them to move. The public security bureau has driven us to desperation of homelessness and the orphans will be driven to the street. Do we still call this a sign of a harmonious society? You are high above there and have you really not heard of these: corruption, bribery, collusion between the officials and the local despots in doing evil deeds, cheating their superiors and covering up from their subordinates and currying favor with their superiors? I implore you to seriously consider the misery of the common people and urge the officials subordinate to you to stop persecuting Christians and implement their promises in the constitution on religious freedom. I also implore you to bring about a government that keeps its promises and initiate a new period of harmony between the government and the masses. The reason for this is because just as you said, we can have a harmonious society when we build it on the foundations of love, friendship, fairness and justice.
President Hu, please forgive me if I offended your dignity. At the time I began to write this open letter to you, I had already fully prepared to die because of this. However, I believe both my life and your heart are in the hands of God Jehovah and He will bring peace both to you and me. Our desire is to win justice for the common people in China so that the Chinese society is full of love and care and that China can become free and prosperous and a real powerful country in the 21st century in soul and in social system. We sincerely pray to the Lord to punish the evil and promote the good so that the common people can receive blessings and that China will have real religious freedom. I believe this is also the wish of President Hu. I hereby pray to God to bless you and all the officials in power, to give them more wisdom in ruling China. I sincerely invite Christians both in China and abroad to pray with me and may the kingdom of God come to us soon!
Pastor Zhang Mingxuan
Pastor Xie Fenglan
Chinese House Church Alliance
China Aid encourages all house church members persecuted by the Chinese government officials to fight back the abuses through the Chinese law, the international law and seek help from the international community.
Issued by CAA on November 28, 2007.