SICHUAN, June 12 /Christian Newswire
/ -- On June 9 more than 30 house church leaders were arrested while gathering in a house church in Langzhong city, Sichuan province. Thirteen leaders were given 15 days of administrative detention, and five of the leaders were placed under criminal detention. The other leaders were released.
Photo: Pastor Li Ming
The Christian leaders were gathered in Pastor Li Ming's house church at 5:30 p.m., in Lanzhou city, when several dozen officials in six to seven police vehicles from the local Domestic Security Protection Squad surrounded the site, then arrested all of the Christians and searched the house.
The 13 leaders who received 15 days of administrative detention are: Wang Fang, Ma Zhongqiong, Wang Huaying, Pang Kaizhen, Chen Deying, Hu Xiuying, Li Daxiu, Deng Shuhua, Chen Jingfang, Wang Yulan, Song Liangqing, Wang Shixiu and Li Shufeng.
The five leaders who received criminal detention are likely to face a formal criminal indictment or up to three years of re-education through labor. They are: Pastors Gao Guofu, Pastor Li Ming, Zhang Guofen, Gu Lianpeng and Yu Zhipeng. Pastor Li Ming was sentenced to three years of re-education through labor in recent years because of his Christian faith.
ChinaAid calls on Christians around the world to pray for the imprisoned Christians and their families. ChinaAid also strongly denounces the Langzhong authorities in Sichuan for their reprehensible conduct which violates both Chinese and international laws guaranteeing freedom of religion.
Contact the Chinese Embassy and urge that all 18 Christian leaders in Lanzhong, Sichuan be unconditionally released and that the government would respect the religious freedom of all Chinese citizens.
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760
ChinaAid grants permission to reproduce photos and/or information for non-fundraising purposes, with the provision that www.ChinaAid.org is credited. Please contact: Katherine@ChinaAid.org with questions or requests for further information.