China Aid Association
photo of Rev. Dr. Brad Long
(Midland, Texas (CAA)-March. 2, 2005) According to CAA’s field investigators in China, at least 10 foreign evangelical church leaders including 8 Americans, one Taiwanese and an unknown number of South Koreans were detained and later deported by the Chinese authorities on February 25, 2005. CAA also learned from an eyewitness that the imprisoned Beijing House Church leader pastor Zhuohua Cai was tortured for a confession with electric cattle prods by his interrogators.
At 11am on February 24, over 100 Chinese security officers from five different government agencies raided an office building used as a temporary house church leadership training site in the suburb of Harbin city, the capital of Heilongjiang province, one of the major cities in northeastern China. 140 Chinese house church leaders from 7-8 provinces were attending church fellowship training with these “brothers and sisters in Christ from other countries,” according to one Chinese pastor who was at the scene when the incident happened.
CAA learned this raid was directly orchestrated by the director of the Public Security Bureau of Heilongjiang province and carried out jointly by the officers from the provincial public security, national security, foreign affairs office, religious affairs bureau and military police office. All foreigners were interrogated separately in the office building and a nearby transportation police station with interpreters of their respective languages. After a 13-hour detention and marathon interrogation, at about 1am February 25 (Beijing Time), all the foreigners were ordered to leave in 3-5 days. Among the deported are well-known American church leaders Rev. Dr. Brad Long and Rev. and Mrs. John & Susan Chang. Rev. Dr Brad Long, an evangelical Presbyterian minister (PCUSA) who is also the executive Director of Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International (www.prmi.org ), a North Carolina-based Christian training ministry. Rev. John Chang, recently retired as president of the general assembly of Reformed Church in America (RCA), and is now senior pastor of the Grace Christian Church in Flushing, NY City ( www.gcif.org ). A well-known Taiwanese church leader Rev. Lin Yuyuan along with two other Chinese-speaking Korean Americans was also expelled at the same time.
The interrogators were said to be well-behaved after the US Consulate in Shenyang City intervened.. It is believed that all of the deported Americans have returned home by March 1, 2005. According to CAA’s source, some spying devices were installed into the laptop computers carried by the deportees. About 140 Chinese house church pastors there were detained and interrogated and then released about 2am after they gave their home addresses and House Church affiliations with finger prints.
According to a reliable source, the PSB confiscated 20,000 RMB (US $2500) cash along with their cell phones owned by the Chinese pastors. Meanwhile, CAA learned from a reliable eyewitness report that prominent Beijing House church leader pastor Zhuohua Cai was tortured severely with electric cattle prods by his interrogators for his “confessions” tha the “illegally managing a printing business and illegally profited 200,000RMB”(US $25,000). The eyewitness told CAA that pastor Cai was seen physically wounded and spiritually depressed.34-year-old Pastor CAI was arrested on 9/11/2004 by the National Security in Beijing for printing “illegal religious literatures.” Cai’s wife, Ms. Yunfei Xiao, along with her brother, Gaowen Xiao, and sister-in-law, Jinyun Hu, were also arrested September 27 while hiding in Hengshan County, Hunan province.
The Cais left a five-year old son Yabo Cai in the care of his grandmother who has been constantly harassed by the police. “To disrupt a normal Christian fellowship meeting and to detain and deport the participants of the same faith from other countries is certainly contrary to the government’s claim to guarantee religious freedom in China,” said Bob Fu, CAA’s president, “to torture an innocent pastor like Cai for false confessions is a direct violation of the international human rights law. We urge people of all faiths to take action to protest the deportations of these pastors and demand pastor Cai and his wife’s immediate release.”
Letters of protest can be sent to the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC at the following address:
Ambassador Yang Jiechi Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
Director of Religious Affairs: (202) 328-2512
Issued by China Aid Association, Inc. on March. 2, 2005.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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