China Aid Association
(HENAN – July 6, 2009) About 11a.m. on July 4 (Beijing time), Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan and 50 senior house church leaders, including 20 different provincial leaders, of the Chinese House Church Alliance (CHCA) were arrested in Nanyang city, Henan province. Due to immediate international pressure, by 6 p.m. all were released.
The raid occurred when house church leaders were gathered at Pastor Bike’s house church on July 3 and 4 to celebrate the 4th year anniversary of the founding of the CHCA. About two dozen officers from the Public Security Bureau (PSB) and Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB) of Nanyang city arrived at the end of the meeting when some of the house church leaders were being ordained as church elders. According to ChinaAid contacts, the government officials showed restraint by allowing the meeting to finish. Pastor Bike, president of the CHCA, preached and then concluded with prayers for the church and for the Chinese government.
Government officials videotaped and photographed the gathering. Then the 20 provincial leaders and Pastor Bike, were taken to the Jindu Hotel of Nanyang city for further questioning while other local leaders were released after authorities registered their IDs.
After ChinaAid issued an urgent press release through ChinaAid’s Chinese website, international media, including Radio Free Asia called some leaders for interviews while the leaders were being interrogated at the hotel. By 6 p.m. authorities released all the leaders. No one was hurt during the raid, and Pastor Bike took full responsibility for calling the meeting.
“We thank God for this successful meeting,” Pastor Bike told ChinaAid joyfully. “We are transparent, without anything to hide from the government. The Chinese house church has entered into a new phase today after years of freedom fighting by demonstrating that a peaceful and constructive solution to the conflict with the government can be achieved, like it was today, without comprising our Christian faith. We appreciate the right understanding and actions toward the house church from the Nanyang city government. We pray for them often.”