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270 House Church Pastors Detained for Alleged Illegal Religious Gathering

Contact: Daniel Burton, China Aid Association, 432-689-6985; www.chinaAid.org, www.monitorChina.org


SHANDONG PROVINCE, Dec. 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- China Aid Association has learned that 270 House Church Pastors have been detained for what Chinese officials are calling an "illegal religious gathering."


Photo: House Church Gathering, hi-resolution version


On December 7 at 1:30pm, House Church pastors in Hedeng District, Linyi City, were gathered for a Bible Study when their meeting was disrupted by police officials.


According to Pastor Li, an eyewitness, 40-50 policemen from 12 different towns were involved in the massive detention. The pastors were then handcuffed two-by-two and taken to the local police station for questioning. As of this morning 150 pastors remain in custody. The others have been released on a Y300 ($40) interrogation fee.


The humiliation these pastors received by being led away in handcuffs as common criminals, for attending a Bible study is an unjustifiable act of religious persecution. In addition, the large scale and high profile of the detentions shows the apathy of Chinese officials in moving towards a policy for toleration of religious freedom. Behavior unbecoming of the World's host for the Olympic games in 2008.


China Aid will continue to monitor the situation.


For those concerned, contact:


Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador: Mr. Zhou Wenzhong

Address: 2300 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington D.C. 20008, U.S.A.

Tel: +001-202-3282500, 3282501, 3282502

Fax: +001-202-3282582

Email: chinaembassy_us@fmprc.gov.cn


Issued by CAA on December 10, 2007