Li Ming: Targeting the shepherds

China Aid Association
Photo: Li Ming

“You are killing me!”� Li Ming cried.

Some cities in China persecute Christians more aggressively than others. Langzhong, in southwestern Sichuan Province, is such a city.
May, 2006. Church leaders and co-workers met together for fellowship. When the meeting ended, six police vehicles arrived, disgorging 15 police officers. Thirty leaders were arrested. Fourteen received criminal detention.
Sunday, June 27, 2006. A group of Christians walked home after a regular church service in the home of Wang Shixiu. Suddenly, a small Chang’ an microbus and three motorcycles stopped in front of them. Fifteen plainclothes police officers, showing no ID, forced eight of the believers into the van.
When they heard of the arrests, four house church leaders– Li Min (52), one of the top seven national leaders of the 300,000-member Chinese House Church Alliance (CHCA) and considered to be the founder of the house church in Langzhong; Jin Jirong (66); Wang Yuan (38), also a CHCA leader; and Li Mingbo (37)– went to the Public Security Office to find out why.
They did not return.
Later, several more house church Christians– Li Chengxi, Sun Zhifen and Ke Yufang– went to visit their brothers and sisters. All three were subsequently arrested, abused and subjected to detentions. Ke Yufang, Jin Jirong’s aunt, observed that her nephew had been seriously injured. For her inquiry, she was thrown into a police van, beaten unconscious and given seven days detention for “assaulting a policeman and interfering with the performance of his duty.”
As the believers were held in a large room, more police cars arrived.

“Who is Li Ming?” someone shouted.
“I am,” Li Ming said.
Three police officers attacked him, beating and kicking him. They dragged him outside, threw him to the ground and six policemen continued beating his head and stomach.
“You are killing me!”� Li Ming cried. The police choked him into silence, pushed him into a police car and took him to detention.
When Jin Jirong tried to stop the police from abusing Li Ming, he too was beaten severely, his ankle injured. The other two leaders were beaten as well.
Afterward, Wang Yuan could not stop vomiting. He asked to be taken to a hospital; instead, he was taken to detention.
On July 25, each of the four house church leaders was sentenced to two years “re-education through labor,” where they are denied bibles and forbidden to even mention the name of Jesus.
(CAA sends the families of the four imprisoned church leaders $US65 per month to help with living expenses.)

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Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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