China Continues to Crack Down on House Churches

China Aid Association

China Continues to Crack Down on House Churches
December 25, 2007

News comes from Christian house churches in China that Tudusha Church in Xiaoshan, Zhejiang Province that has been demolished by force twice before is being rebuilt with the tacit agreement from the government officials. However, authorities in Shangqiu, Henan Province, Yichun, Heilongjiang Province, Enshi, Hubei Province and Hebei Province continue to crack down on believers. Following is a report by Yan Ming, reporter of Radio Free Asia.
A Christian house church in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province suffered a major crackdown in 2003. Many churches, sites of gathering were alleged to be “construction in violation of building codes” or “illegal sites of assembly” and were thus demolished and a large number of believers were arrested and some of them were even sentenced. This station has learned on Tuesday that among these churches, Tudusha Church in Xiaoshan, Hangzhou was rebuilt in July 2005. A local believer who wants to be anonymous told this station:
Believer: We started the rebuilding in July 2005. The church could accommodate 5,000 people. It looks like a normal building from the outside and it has three storeys. The external areas look very simple. While the churches in other countries have a steeple top, ours doesn’t have one, but one can see this is a church by mere glimpse as there is a sign outside.
Reporter: Did the authorities intervene this time?
Believer: It is impossible for them to intervene in this matter anymore, because the demolition of the church back a few years ago caused such a sensation that not only people in China knew it, many places in other countries also knew it as ours was demolished without a good reason.
However, in other provinces of mainland China, there is still news that believers suffer government crackdowns.
Xu Yonghai, a Christian from Beijing, was sentenced at the end of 2003 on the conviction that he “disclosed information of the state” to overseas media. He tried to appeal the sentence. Xu Yonghai said that the life after walking out of the prison has not been easy:
After I came out of the prison, I lost the original job. There are always people at my door who put me on surveillance and I am often placed under house arrest. When the countdown of the Olympic Games reached one year, they did not allow me to step outside my door. During the 17th National Congress of the CPC, I was not allowed to go out of the door either.
House churches in Shangqiu, Henan Province and Yichun, Heilongjiang Province held Christmas parties. The police intervened and arrested some people. The reporter has interviewed some of them who have been released. The believers who gathered in Yichun are those who had left TSPM not long before. The police took away four of them for interrogation and released them in an hour. As for the people who gathered in Shangqiu, three of them are still in detention. Mr. Lu, who was present at the time, told this station:
Mr. Lu: The police took away our musical instruments, including French horn, electronic keyboard, etc. Finally, they videotaped each one of us. At last, the township government took away two of our sisters and one brother. They are still being detained at the detention center and will be released on January 4 of next year. At that time, we will get the list of detained objects and get back the confiscated items.
Qin Daomin, a Christian from Jianshi Co unty, Enshi Prefecture of Hubei Province got together with some fellow Christians from Wuhan in July of this year. The police intervened and seven people have been sentenced to education through labor. Qin Hongnian, Qin Daomin’s father, was injured by a policeman when he tried to protect his daughter. He was also given a 10-day administrative detention. He refused to accept the penalty and submitted an application for administrative reconsideration, but it was rejected. He then submitted an administrative litigation recently and the court ruled against him. Qin Daomin said to this station on Tuesday:
Qin Daomin: when the policemen went over to beat my sister, my father said that policemen should not resort to physical violence. Before he could say the second sentence, three or four young policemen came over and pinned him on the floor. When they tried to handcuff him from behind, he resisted and hit the body of a policeman. In fact, my father never intended to hit them.
In other developments, Zhang Mingxuan, head of China House Church Alliance who united non-official TSPM believers and the orphanage run by the federation are now in a dire situation. Zhang Mingxuan’s family has just been forced to move. People in the orphanage began to pack up on Monday and got ready to leave.
Over 10 children are now facing the situation of having to live in the street.
The above report is from Yan Ming, reporter of Radio Free Asia.

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