China Aid Association
(Hangzhou, Zhejiang province – June 21, 2011) On June 16th, about 40 Chinese house church pastors and leaders were able to peacefully and successfully conclude a three-day training seminar on Chinese law and rights defense.
The attendees of the seminar held in Hangzhou, coastal Zhejiang province, were house church pastors and leaders from Beijing, the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, Jilin, Sichuan and Hubei and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The seminar, which was sponsored by China Aid Association, covered the following topics:
1. A Chinese citizen’s right of defense and right to appeal in daily life situations
2. A citizen’s right of defense in the law of Public Security Administration punishments
3. A citizen’s right of defense when given an administrative punishment
4. A citizen’s rights during an administrative review
5. A citizen’s rights in an administrative lawsuit
6. Worker’s rights in a labor contract
7. The implications of Article 36 of the Chinese constitution which proclaims freedom of religion
The church leaders also raised questions based on their own personal experiences of persecution and government pressure, and were able to have their questions answered by the expert legal counsel at the seminar. Some of the questions were:
1. Is it illegal to distribute gospel tracts on the streets or in a park? Is it legal for park employees to stop [us from distributing] evangelistic materials and to confiscate the materials?
2. How should we respond to the demand that house churches must register?
3. What should we do when we’ve been invited by another church to an out-of-town location to preach and while doing so, the United Front Work Committee and the Religious Affairs Bureau surrounds us and demands that we stop the meeting and checks our government-issued identification cards?
4. Some church lay leaders’ phones are being secretly monitored by Public Security organs; are the Public Security organs violating the law?
5. What should brothers and sisters of house churches do when we have been beaten by people sent by the Religious Affairs Bureau or the Three-Self?
The seminar taught the church leaders not only the importance of being knowledgeable about the law and how to use the law to protect themselves but also the value of promptly notifying the international media when they are being persecuted. They learned that the international media and the international community can act as monitors who follow how these persecution cases are being handled by China’s law enforcement personnel.
This not only serves to motivate local government and law enforcement personnel to act according to the law but also makes it more effective to use the law to rectify the situation when law enforcement personnel themselves act in violation of the law.
In the past, house church leaders were afraid of law enforcement personnel, but now they appreciate that the law is a gift from God, which not only can be used against evil but also can be used to protect good, peace-loving people.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]