China Aid Association
(Beijing – May 10, 2011) In a new twist in the crackdown on one of the largest house churches in Beijing, a Shouwang Church member who has been detained weekly since the church began attempts to worship outdoors five weeks ago has been expelled from the capital, according to ChinaAid sources.
Hu Jian was one of at least 15 people who was detained on May 8. Forty-eight hours later, everyone but Hu had been released. Friends who went to the police station where he was being held were told that he was being sent back to his hometown in Hubei province.
Beijing authorities have responded to Shouwang Church’s outdoor worship attempts, which began on April 10, with a variety of measures, including putting hundreds of church members under house arrest during the weekends to prevent them from going to the pre-designated outdoor worship site, putting church leaders under extra-judicial house arrest since April 8, and detaining the church members who show up at the outdoor worship site for 24 to 48 hours and interrogating them before releasing them.
Bosses and landlords have also come under pressure from the government to fire or evict Shouwang Church members, and in just days after the first outdoor worship attempt, church members started losing their jobs or were being kicked out of their homes.
Hu had already been fired from his job following his earlier detentions, and the loss of the job also rendered him homeless because his housing was provided by his employer. He was staying with a friend prior to his latest detention, and in order to protect the friend from being implicated, he had refused to tell police where he was living.
That may be the reason the police sent him to the Hubei provincial government office in Beijing, with instructions to buy him a train ticket to his hometown, which is where he is officially registered to live in the government’s nationwide “household registration system.” No tickets were available Tuesday, however, and the officials were expected to send Hu on his way on Wednesday.
Police had confiscated Hu’s national identity card when they detained him, and then told him they had lost it. He was instructed to apply for a new one when he was back in his hometown.
Other church members expressed fear that Hu might face further and possibly harsher persecution back in his hometown. Local enforcement of Chinese laws and regulations vary widely across the country, and how a person is treated by the authorities differs greatly depending on the local government and local officials.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]