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Prominent House Church Leader Zhang Rongliang Sentenced to Over Seven Years in Prison; Family Members Concerned for his Health

CAA Released Prosecution Paper


Photo: The arrest warrant paper issued by PSB of Xinmi City, Henan province

 

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

 

MIDLAND, Texas, July 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- China Aid confirms that one of the most prominent Chinese House Movement leaders pastor Zhang Rongliang was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on July 4, 2006. The verdict paper was issued on June 29 by Zhongmu county People’s Court though neither Zhang’s wife nor other members of his immediate family has received it. Zhang was arrested on December 1, 2004. According to CAA source, 55-year-old pastor Zhang was arrested at Xuzhai village, Zhengzhou city, Henan province in a rented apartment. The apartment was searched and all Pastor Zhang’s Christian DVDs, materials and photos revealing relationships with foreigners and foreign agencies were confiscated.

 

Zhang’s wife and their two sons have been deeply concerned for his welfare and safety, especially as he suffers from serious diabetes for seven years. His disease was so serious that he was admitted to the Xinmi city People's Hospital from his detention center from December 19, 2005 until January 23, 2006 for emergent treatment. He was seen handcuffed and chained to his hospital bed.

 

Zhang was charged with "attaining a passport through cheating" and with "illegal border crossing" for his international traveling including to the US, Australia, Egypt and Singapore for world mission conferences.(read the whole text of prosecution paper).One witness reported seeing Zhang.

 

Pastor Zhang is the leader of the Fangcheng Mother Church, Henan and the leader of the China for Christ Church, which is one of the largest house church networks estimated to have more than 10 million members. He has been well known by the international community as one of the house church patriarchs. He is a co-author of the published House Churches of China’s Confession of Faith and Declaration in 1999. He has been featured in a number of international articles and books, including ‘Jesus in Beijing’ (2003) by former TIME journalist, David Aikman, Newsweek (12th May 2004), TIME magazine, Charisma and Christianity Today. Last year, European Parliament passed a resolution demanding pastor Zhang’s release.

 

Pastor Zhang has been wanted for many years since his last imprisonment in August 1999. He has already spent twelve years in prison for his faith since his secret baptism in 1969 during five separate detentions. He experienced extreme harsh torture including electric shocks during his prison terms.

 

“We are deeply disappointed for this extraordinary harsh verdict given the fact that the Chinese authorities often deny passports and other travel documents to well-known religious leaders like pastor Zhang.” Said Bob Fu who is the president of China Aid and personally knows pastor Zhang and his family, “This is yet another case showing the Chinese government’s new tactic of religious persecution in the name of criminal charges.”

 

List of Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the US:

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

2300 Connecticut Ave NW

Washington DC 20008

Tel:(202) 328-2500 Fax: (202) 588-0032

Director of Religious Affairs:

(202) 328-2512

Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, IL

Address: 100 West Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60610

Tel: (312) 803-0095

Fax: (312) 803-0110

Chinese Consulate General in Houston, TX

Address: 3417 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006

Tel: (713) 524-0780

Fax: (713) 524-7656

Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, CA

Address: 443 Shatto Place, Los Angeles, CA 90020

Tel: (213) 807-8018

Fax: (213) 380-1961

Chinese Consulate General in New York, NY

Address: 520 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

Tel: (212) 244 9392

Fax: (212) 502 0258

Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, CA

Address: 1450 Laguna St. San Francisco, CA 94115

Tel: (415) 674-2940

Fax: (415) 563-4861

 

Issued by China Aid Association, Inc. on July 8, 2006.

 

------------------------------------

 

February 24, 2005

Suggestions on Prosecution

By the Public Safety Bureau of the City of Xinmi

Document number: Xinmi Gong Xing Su (2005) 056

 

Suspect: Zhang Rongliang

Alias:  Sun Rongming, Sun Yuewu, Gao Xianchen, Li De’en

Gender: male

Date of Birth: July 15, 1950

Place of Birth: Fangcheng County, Henan Province,

ID number: 412922195007151177

Ethnic group: Han

Education level: elementary school,

Career: peasant

Registered address: 215 Bachanglu, Chengguan Township, Wancheng County, Nanyang City

Actual address: 5-3 East, Jiahe Wanshi Huayuan, 8 Guojilu, Zhengzhou City

 

Zhang Rongliang was sentenced to seven years in prison in 1976 by the People’s Court of Wancheng County, Nanyang City, on the charge of counter revolution, and was released after serving this sentence.  On February 11, 1994, he was detained and interrogated due to bothering social order.  On November 20, 1999, he was sentenced to three years’ reeducation through labor on the charge of bothering social order by the Committee on Reeducation through Labor of the People’s Government of Nanyang City.  On February 2, 2000, he was put on medical parole.  On December 1, 2004, he was detained by the Public Security Bureau of Zhengzhou City, on the charge of cheating of documents used for going abroad, and was arrested on December 31 of the same year with the approval of the People’s Procuratorate of Xinmi City.

 

Notified and entrusted by the Domestic Security Team of the Public Security Department of Henan Province, the Domestic Security Team of the Public Security Bureau of Zhengzhou City, after reviewing the case, registered it and started to make investigations on July 22, 2004.  Zhang Rongliang was taken into custody on December 1, 2004.  Investigations on this case, which was transferred to us on December 25, 2004, are closed now.

 

Investigations indicate that Zhang Rongliang defrauded the Public Security Bureau of Liaocheng City, Shandong Province, the Public Security Bureau of Zhengzhou City, and the Public Security Bureau of Pingdingshan City of documents intended for going abroad three times from 2000 to 2004.

 

  1. On May 25, 2000, Zhang Rongliang cheated Zhengjia Police Station of Dongchangfu Branch of the Public Security Bureau of Liaocheng City, Shandong Province, of two household records and IDs in the name of Gao Xianchen and Gao Jingyi.  And on June 29 of the same year, with these records and IDs, he applied for two passports from the Border Control of the Public Security Bureau of Liaocheng City, numbered 149923151 and 149923154 respectively.  From June 6, 2001 to January 1, 2004, Zhang Rongliang, holding the passport of Gao Xiancheng, went abroad eleven times.

  2. From September 6 to October 18, 2003, Zhang Rongliang obtained through cheating three residence booklets with eleven people’s records and their IDs from the Chengguan Police Station of the Public Security Bureau of Xinmi City in the name of Sun Rongming, Chen Heping, Sun Qingxin, Zhang Aiping, Sun Hetian, Zheng Tiansheng, Li Xiuzhi, Zheng Laifa, Zheng Qingchen and Xu Duojia.  And from January 6 to May 17, 2004, he applied to the Border Control of the Domestic Security Team of the Public Security Bureau of Xinmi City for nine passports and two Hong Kong-Macao passes: Sun Rongming, passport number G09854350, Chen Heping, passport number G09854348, Sun Qingxin, passport number G10489068, Zhang Aiping, passport number G10489067, Sun Hetian, passport number G10489069, Zheng Qingchen, passport number G09872922, Hong Kong-Macao pass number W02744297, Xu Duojia, passport number G09872921, Hong Kong-Macao pass number W02744298, Zheng Tiansheng, passport number G09877251, Zheng Laifa, passport number G09879257.  From February to May, 2004, Zhang Rongliang, with the passport of Sun Rongming, went abroad three times.  And his son and daughter-in-law went abroad once.

  3. On August 27, 2004, Zhang Rongliang defrauded Malou Police Station of Lushan County, Pingdingshan City, of a residence booklet with five people’s records and their IDs in the name of Li De’en, Li Aihua, Li Wenhua, Li Shengli, and Li Qiang.  On September 21, 2004, Zhang Rongliang and his wife, using the residence records and IDs obtained illegally, applied to the Border Control of the Public Security Bureau of Pingdingshan City for two passports bearing the names of Li De’en and Li Aihua and numbered G12358865 and G12358866 respectively.  In November 2004, Zhang Rongliang, holding the passport of Le De’en, went abroad once.


The above-mentioned crimes were verified on the basis of the following evidences: fraudulent residence records, witnesses’ testimonies about application for residence records and IDs, inquiries about application for going abroad by the border control authorities, departure records provided by the Border Control of the Department of Public Security of Henan Province, Zhang Rongliang’s confessions.

 

There are enough evidences to verify the above-mentioned crimes.

 

In summary, Zhang Rongliang, by cheating, first obtained residence records, and then passports, and eventually achieved the goal of going abroad.  His conduct is in violation of article 319 of the Criminal Code of the People’s Republic of China, which provides for the crime on fraudulent passports.  In accordance with article 129 of the Criminal Litigation Code of the People’s Republic of China, this case is hereby submitted to the People’s Procuratorate of Xinmi City.

 

P.S. Zhang Rongliang is now imprisoned in the Third Detention Center of Zhengzhou City.