Infiltrators Collude with Government Authorities to Take Over Church, Beat and Imprison Christian
ZHEJIAN, China, June 20 /Christian Newswire
/ -- In collusion with the local state-sanctioned religious organizations and law enforcement, a group of individuals infiltrated Baixiang Town Christian Church to take over the church and bring destruction to the church life of true believers. One church member, Huang Lemin was badly beaten by the infiltrators on April 23, then was placed under criminal detention at Leqing Municipal Detention Center after his attackers told police that he attacked them. Believers from Baixiang Church are asking the international community to speak out for his release, and to expose the true situation of the hostile takeover of their church by individuals working with government officials.
Since 2007, a group of individuals have conspired with the Bureau of Religion to gain power and control of Baixiang Church, a registered church located in Wengzhou Municipality, Zhejiang province. The infiltrators have prevented Sunday gatherings, attacked believers, sabotaged the church's audio equipment and destroyed the church's electrical wiring.
On March 1, church member Huang Lemin volunteered to repair the audio equipment damaged by the infiltrators. When Huang Lemin went up the church staircase, several of the infiltrators blocked and surrounded him at the top of the staircase. The attackers pinned Huang Lemin in a corner and began beating him. One attacker, Yang Huaxi, hit Huang Lemin in the face and the left bone of Huang Lemin's nose bridge, and knocked his glasses to the floor. Huang Lemin was then unable to defend himself, because he has extremely poor vision. Several Christians arrived and witnessed the assault, but were unable to stop it. After the attack ended, Huang Lemin was injured badly and his nose was bleeding. The Christians took Huang Lemin to report the case at the local police station. At the police station, Huang Lemin started losing consciousness and becoming confused, so believers rushed him to Wenzhou Medical Institute, where a later it was found he had: a fracture in his nasal bone, a cerebral concussion and contusion of soft tissues all over his body.
On April 23, Yang Huaxi pressed charges against Huang Lemin for "intentional injury" and police arrested him. The Christians who witnessed the attack told police Huang Lemin was innocent, but the police sided with Yang.
According to the believers, Huang Lemin is "devout in his belief, peaceful, honest and kindhearted and has a good reputation both inside and outside the church." On the morning of the day when he was detained, he left a message to "forgive, forget the past and think about the Lord Jesus' words to us: love thy enemies." On May 11, members of Baixiang Church collected more than 1,000 signatures and demanded that the public security department release Huang unconditionally. View signatures here: chinaaid.org/chinese_site/press_release_detail.php?id=8079
When the family of Huang Lemin and church members tried to get an answer from the police, they were told to "settle the matter privately out of court." The family of Huang Lemin's attacker also suggested they "settle the matter privately out of court." However, the conditions for the out-of-court settlement would include a series of conditions related to church matters in addition to financial compensation.
On May 19, two lawyers, Li Baiguang and Li Dunyong met with Huang Lemin in Baixiang Detention Center. The lawyers submitted an application to the Public Security Bureau (PSB) to demand re-identification about the "injury" of Yang Huaxi and to re-evaluate the case. On May 20, the two lawyers submitted a "request to discharge their statutory duties." The lawyers have also met with witnesses, and have collected investigation records.
Baixiang Church members are asking the international community to speak out on behalf of justice. They issued a letter stating, "A kindhearted and innocent citizen is jailed on wrongful charges! We hope leaders from the relevant departments will come to our church and conduct a detailed investigation and achieve an understanding of the case. We also hope Leqing Municipal Public Security Bureau and Baixiang Township Police Station base their judgments on facts and regard the law as the criteria and enforce the law impartially!"
ChinaAid asks the international community to petition the TSPM authorities to intervene with authorities for Huang Leming's immediate release and to stop the hostile actions of the infiltrators at Baixiang Church.
Zhejiang Provincial CC/TSPM Committee
No. 132 Jiefang Road
Tel: +86-571-87061550 or +86-571-87023550
Contact law enforcement authorities in Zhejiang to petition for Huang Lemin's immediate release:
Public Security Department of Zhejiang Province: +86-571-87286114 or +86-0571-81951080
Hangzhou Public Security Bureau +86-571-87076677 or +86-571-87067119
Wenzhou Public Security Bureau +86-577-88327366
Yueqing City Public Security Bureau +86-577-62535433
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