2 Xinjiang women sentenced to administrative detention for distributing religious flyers

China Aid Association

(Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang—May 27, 2014) Authorities in China’s far west Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region summoned two women to the police station, where they were kept for the better part of a day, after the women distributed religious flyers around town two weeks ago. Incidents such as this aren’t uncommon in Xinjiang, where control over house churches is very strict.

“Two sisters from Copper Mine Church in Fuyun County, [Altay Precfecture], distributed Gospel flyers at the station,” a local believer said. “They distributed two bike loads of flyers. Then the police came and took them away and kept them there from morning until 7 p.m.”

“One is named Liu and the other is named Yang,” Hua Rongzhou, Copper Mine Church’s leader, said. “On May 13, they went to the station to distribute Gospel flyers. Now, police have seized the church’s books, including two sets, three small copies and two medium-sized local Korean-language Bibles.” State security confiscated the books on May 20, a week after summoning Liu and Yang to the police station.

“[A police officer] said there are more than 150 Bibles and more than 500 books. I said I didn’t know because our church already had these books—plus the books were given by other people,” Hua said. “Normally, there were many books in the stock room. The books were all there plus the pamphlets given by other people. Right now, Officer Zhao is asking me questions.”

Since the books were confiscated, authorities have accused the two women of “disclosing state secrets.”

An anonymous Christians said that after reviewing the confiscated books, officials accused the women of disclosing state secrets. “I said all people in China know these three things…They said they were investigating who disclosed these things,” the believer told China Aid. What “things” refers to was unclear.

The unreasonable treatment of believers in Xinjiang is not uncommon. In March, authorities broke up a training program organized by worshippers. “On March 19, our church made arrangements for middle school teachers to study in a joint program, organized by several countries in our area,” a believer said. “On the second day, police found the host family, and people from the State Security Bureau surrounded their home. Laptops, projectors and other items were taken. They also took all the people there and locked them up from morning until noon the next day.”

The two worshippers who hosted the training were sentenced to 15-days administrative detention and were each fined 500 yuan (US $80). Also, in December 2013, police confiscated bags the church members had made.

China Aid reported another case of persecution in September 2013, when four house church members were detained for giving Bible lessons to middle school and elementary aged kids during the summer. The four are now planning to sue the Shaya County Public Security Bureau for the reimbursement of their 1,000 yuan (US $160) fines (see https://chinaaid.org/2013/09/breaking-four-house-church-members.html and https://chinaaid.org/2013/09/xinjiang-house-church-members-released.html).

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

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