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Previously Released Christian Leader Re-Arrested Prior to Christmas in Xinjiang; Christmas Celebration Disrupted in Beijing; Closed House Church Appealed to the Local Government in Anhui

Contact: Bob Fu, China Aid Association, 267-205-5210, info@ChinaAid.org; www.ChinaAid.org, www.monitorChina.org

MIDLAND, Texas, Dec. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- China Aid Association (CAA) has learned that a house church leader in Xinjiang, who was just released November 26, 2006 after 32 days detention by the local police, was arrested again December 23, 2006.

Brother Lou Yuanqi was arrested October 20, 2006 for organizing and participating in Christian gatherings in Qingshuihe town, Huocheng County, Yili city, Xinjiang autonomous area, as stated in a previous CAA report.

It is believed that the arrest is to deter the Christians from holding any Christmas celebration activities. Brother Lou is currently held at the Detention Center of Huocheng County. So far, none of brother Lou’s family members have received any official notice regarding the reason of his detention.

Moreover, CAA learns on Christmas Eve, a Christmas celebration was disrupted in Beijing. While about 150 young people were celebrating Christmas in a house church in Haidian District, Beijing, two-dozen PSB officers and officials from Religious Affairs Bureau suddenly surrounded them. The hosting house church used to be ministered by pastor Cai Zhuohua who is serving three years imprisonment because of bible printing work. All of the participants were videotaped and forced to register their ID numbers. The government officials declared the meeting as an “illegal religious gathering” and warned them not to meet anymore.
CAA also learns that on December 19, 2006 a recently closed house church appealed to the local government in regards to the church’s illegal closure by the local Religious Affair Bureau.
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The house church in Tongling city, Anhui province was established by Brother Wang Xingquan in 1953, as previously reported by CAA. The local Religious Affair Bureau had resorted to administrative measures, including holding the church leaders’ salaries and threatening to fire them from the national unit, to force the Christians to affiliate themselves with the government run TSPM church.

“We are very concerned about the arbitrary detention of brother Lou again,” said Bob Fu, “we urge the Xinjiang government to release him immediately.”

Issued by CAA on December 28, 2006