10 More Arrested After Detainees Refuse to Leave Without Fellow Linfen Pastor

Yang Xuan and his wife were arrested on October 11th, after Linfen leaders refused to leave Pastor Yang Rongli in detention.
October 18, 2009
SHANXI–The skies were clear when Shan Yongchang, the Linfen-Fushan church member who was arrested for text-messaging about the 9/13 incident, was released on Friday, October 9. The next day, PSB officials offered to release ten Linfen-Fushan Church leaders from their detention, under the condition of holding Pastor Yang Rongli until further notice. Protesting her continued detention in an act of solidarity, the church leaders refused to leave without Pastor Yang. “We are one team in the one body of Christ! We won’t leave her behind alone. We will not leave prison without her.”
To break their spirit, the PSB arrested pastor Yang Rongli’s younger sister, Yang Linli, and ransacked Pastor Wang Xiaoguang’s home. The PSB raided and arrested ten more Linfen church members, including Yang Xuan and his wife Yang Caizhen, from their homes on October 11. Officials blamed Pastor Yang for the unrest and refused to release her, threatening the church leaders with further raids and abuse if they did not comply with their orders.
On Oct 16, 2009, Yang Linli was released under the condition that she not petition on behalf of her sister or other church members, nor engage in any further illegal activities. She was forcefully prohibited from communicating with outside world. Pastor Yang Rongli and Hua Mei, another female church leader, were formally accused of committing crimes of  “illegal building and disturbing the social order by organizing masses.”
The following five leaders were sentenced to criminal detention on October 17: Pastor Wang Xiaoguang, Yang Caizhen, Yang Hongzhen, Su Qing and Li Shuangping. ChinaAid’s latest updates indicate that three leaders have been released on parole, nine are still serving detention (five for criminal sentences), and ten leaders are still missing.
Pastor Yang and six other church leaders were arrested by Fushan officials on September 23, in order to keep them from visiting Beijing and appealing to the higher authorities on behalf of the Linfen Church. On September 24, PSB raided Linfen Church and members homes again, confiscating any remaining valuables including the church computers. After holding an emergency meeting on September 28, Huozhou City officials agreed Linfen Christian Church could not be considered a “cult”–but vowed they would no longer tolerate the abuses and legal violations of Pastor Yang Rongli and her “foolish and misguided” followers. View the CAA Press Release.
Although the document was not presented at the time, ChinaAid has since received and translated the RAB’s statement of Pastor Yang Rongli’s alleged abuses. The Linfen Ethnicity and Religious Affairs Bureau accuses Pastor Yang of illegally establishing religious groups and religious sites, holding religious services and activities without permit, nominating religious personnel, illegally sharing the Gospel with the minors, and “jeopardizing the social order.”
Read the Linfen RAB’s full statement of “The Illegalness of the Christian Forces under Yang Rongli’s Leadership.”
According to Linfen Church members, 80 policemen and around 10 police cars continue to guard the church around the clock, preventing them from gathering to worship on Sundays. View footage of the police guard stationed outside the Linfen Fushan Church.
The guards stand as a militant reminder that faith is not free for believers in communist China.

ChinaAid urges the international community to speak out on behalf of the persecuted leaders of Linfen Christian Church, and calls for the retraction of unjust criminal charges against these people of faith.

To contact the local authorities, call the following agencies;
Secretary of Linfen City, Shanxi Province: +0-357-202-6513
Committee of Fanshan Town: +0-357-812-2131
Secretary of Linfen Committee Office: +0-357-209-0427
Mayor of Linfen City: +0-357-209-1044
Office of United Front Work in Linfen: +0-357-209-0527
Linfen Bureau of Public Security: +0-357-218-8317
Linfen Office of Petition: +0-357-209-1341
Secretary of Fushan Town: +0-357-812-6099
Director of Fushan Town: +0-357-813-6099
Fushan Office of United Front Work: +0-357-812-1142
Fushan Bureau of Pubic Security: +0-357-812-6199
For English-speakers, contact the Chinese Embassy in Washington:
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760

NOTE: If you are a citizen of another country, please click here to find the contact information of the Chinese embassy in your own nation http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/2490/.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.chinaaid.org

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