American Tourists Mistreated; Arrested House Church Pastors Tortured in PrisonShanghai House Church Faces Forced Closure

China Aid Association
(Midland, Texas (CAA)-August 8, 2005) China Aid learned that more than 210 Chinese house church pastors and believers have been arrested in Hubei, Hebei and Henan Provinces since July 2005. Two American tourists in China were mistreated when arrested in Hubei Province. A house church in Shanghai is ordered to close on July 26.
At 9:30 am on August 2, 2005, while two American tourists were preparing to have Christian fellowship with 41 Chinese House church pastors and believers at their host family’s home in Lutou Town, Zaoyang City, Hubei Province, approximately 30 Chinese plain-clothed police officers rushed into the house. According to several eyewitness reports, the two American theological students, believed to be from Westminster Theological Seminary Campuses in Texas and California, were handled very unprofessionally. One sustained injuries to his wrists after being handcuffed because he wanted to put his shoes on before he was forced into an unmarked police car. The police refused to reveal their identifications. The two Americans were neither permitted to contact the US Embassy nor permitted to show their US passports and other Identification cards. Both were taken to a government “hotel” for interrogation. They were released at 5 pm following a 7 hour interrogation. Without explanation, some of their belongings, including their personal bibles, notebooks, and books on Westminster Confession of Faith were confiscated.
The same day, the 41 Chinese pastors and believers from the evangelical South China Church were taken to No. 2 Zaoyang Prison . At the time of this report 30 had been released. The remaining eleven, including 38-year-old Ms. Wang Hua and 32-year-old Ms. Wang Xiao, as well as the hostess, Ms. Ren Daoyun, are still in prison. According to eyewitness reports, many of them were tortured. Sixty-year-old Ms. Ren has been repeatedly beaten by Mr. Lei Youxin, the director of the prison. He kicked her, punched her face, and beat her head against the wall with a prison chair. One eyewitness told CAA that Ms. Ren’s mouth was bleeding and swollen. Another 17 year-old evangelist Mr. He Baobao was hospitalized for a serious nose bleed due to the repeated beatings by his interrogators. CAA learned from a reliable source this raid was directed and led by Mr.Yang Kaihu and Mr Wang Zhiguo , the director of Domestic Security Protection Squad of Xiangfan PSB and Zaoyang PSB respectively. The PSB confiscated blankets and 2300 RMB ($290) and a check with 3000 RMB ($350) from the host family and broke the family’s television. About 5000 RMB ($625) was also confiscated from the pockets of those arrested.
According to CAA’s reliable sources, July 22, approximately 100 Christian high school aged students were arrested at Wanzhuang Town, Langfang City, Hebei Province. They were attending a Vocational Bible School (VBS) organized by their Christian parents. After being interrogated for hours, they were all released and ordered not to gather again by the local PSB.
July 1, approximately 70 house church believers were arrested at Zhaolou Village, Sui County, Henan Province. That church was performing baptisms for 60 new believers at the home of a host family. Ten of them including Pastor Wang Baode were sentenced to 15-days administrative detention. All others were released after paying a 300 RMB ($35) fine without receipts.
CAA received information from a source in Shanghai that a 400-member, 16-year-old house church at Minhang District, Shanghai City was ordered to close by the Shanghai authority. The Religious Affairs Bureau and District Government of Minhang District placed a stamped official notice on the gate of the church building July 26th declaring the gathering as “an illegal religious gathering and should end their service immediately,” otherwise, the leaders will face “severe administrative punishment.”
“To disrupt and close normal Christian fellowship meetings, as well as confiscate personal property is contrary to the government’s claim to guarantee religious freedom in China,” said Bob Fu, CAA’s president, “to handcuff innocent American tourists and mistreat them is unprecedented, totally unacceptable and certainly deserves strong diplomatic condemnation. We urge people of all faiths to take action to protest the mistreatment and torture of these pastors and demand their immediate release.”
Letters of protest may 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
Tel: (202) 328-2500 Fax: (202) 588-0032
            Director of Religious Affairs: (202) 328-2512

Issued by China Aid Association, Inc. August 8, 2005


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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