Authorities Clamp Down House Churches in Four Other Provinces
Contact: Bob Fu, China Aid Association, Inc., 267-205-5210, 432-689-6985, info@ChinaAid.org; www.ChinaAid.org, www.monitorChina.org
MIDLAND, Texas, May 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- China Aid Association has learned that house church members Cui Chengnan and Liu Riguo in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province have filed an application for administrative reconsideration and demand that the Kunshan Municipal People's Government rule that the compulsory administrative measure taken by the respondent (Kunshan Municipal Public Security Bureau) is illegal and return all the items and the donated money confiscated during its raid on the house church.
Photo: Pastor Zhang Laibao was fined 2000 yuan($250) for "violation of religious regulation by studying about religion with foreigners and spreading evil cult message."
The house was raided by 20-some policemen from Kunshan Municipal Public Security Bureau on April 29, 2007. The policemen declared their meeting "an illegal assembly" and confiscated their notebook computer, projector, DVD player, stereo, microphone, Bibles and other materials and items. They also took away the donation box after failing to break it open.
The applicants' demands are backed by quotations from existing Chinese laws. The compulsory administrative measure by Kunshan PSB is a result of misinterpretation of the law of the state as both Article 36 from the Chinese Constitution and Article 2 of "Regulations on Religious Affairs" of the State Council state that the Chinese citizens have the right to enjoy the freedom of religious belief. The compulsory administrative measure taken on the grounds that the applicants were engaging in "an illegal assembly" is a violation of the basic principles of the state's policies on religion. Lastly, the applicants believe that the respondent violated the legal procedure in the raid as they failed to present their proper identifications that authorize their law enforcement and that they gave the applicants a list of confiscated items two days after the raid.
China Aid urges the Jiangsu authority to return the illegally confiscated church properties and stop harassing these peaceful religious gatherings.
Meanwhile, in Hebei, Gansu, Anhui, and Hubei provinces, a number of house churches were being raided from March to April 2007.
On April 28, a new house church with more than 30 university students in Hengshui county, Shijiazhuang city, Hebei province was warned by the local government not to continue their service. According to Elder Hao Guishen who is a missionary in that church, the new house church was ordered to close because they distributed tens of thousands of pieces of gospel tracts in the past 8 months without government approval.
Pastor Liu Huiwen was arrested on April 27 while he was sharing his Christian faith to a number of Muslims in Dongxiang county, Gansu province. Sources told CAA pastor Liu is now facing serious punishment for his religious activities in the Muslim area.
On April 18, a house church training center in Fuyang city, Anhui province was raided while 30 young church leaders were receiving theological trainings there. The students came from over 100 house churches in that area. After being interrogated for a few hours with their bibles and note books confiscated, all of the students were released. The names and home addresses of the students were recorded by the PSB. They were warned unless they go to a TSPM seminary to study, they will be sent to labor camp if they continue their study there.
On March 18, a registered house church in Yicheng county, Hubei province was forced to close because the church leaders were accused of engaging "cross regional mission activities" by inviting missionaries from Zhejiang province to preach. Reliable sources told CAA that the door of that church was sealed and the wooden Cross was removed and taken away by the local government authority. In China, it's forbidden by the law for ministers in one designated church to conduct ministries in other churches without authorization from certain level of government authority.
Issued by China Aid Association, Inc. May 9, 2007