Liangren Church Pastor Wang Dao Repeatedly Seized and Interrogated, Officers Threaten His Family

May 8, 2010

GUANGDONG–At 10:37 Am on May 8 (China time), Pastor Wang Dao of Liangren House Church was summoned from his home by Public Security officers for the second time in two days. After being illegally interrogated and detained on May 7, when Pastor Wang was held and interrogated for five hours at the police station without warrant, he faced a second round of interrogations on Saturday, with authorities promising to continue this pattern of treatment each coming day.  
On May 7, around 10 AM, two officers arrived at Wang Dao’s home to take him away. When Wang’s wife asked for authorization and cause, they replied that they had verbal authorization from their superiors and that “Wang Dao [had] published some articles on the Internet and [was] suspected of sedition.” They then asserted he needed to be taken to the station for an investigation.  Wang was released at 3:30 PM, but was informed he would be visited again at the same time the next day.
On May 8, four officers arrived to take Wang by force from his home. Only one of the four wore an official police uniform. One of the plain-clothes policemen took video footage of the entire visit, a new repressive action in Liangren Church’s case.  Church contacts believe the Public Security officers continue to abduct and interrogate Pastor Wang because of their fear of Liangren Church’s upcoming outdoor worship service, scheduled for 10:00-12:30 AM in the Guangzhou People’s Park this Sunday.
While interrogating Pastor Wang, the officers threatened his family’s personal safety, saying, “You’d better watch out when you go out.”  The PSB also gave out details of the addresses and names of the schools where Wang’s children attend, their menacing comments seeking to intimidate the Wangs into ceasing their church activities for the sake of their family. Their threats raise serious concerns, considering the recent killing spree of elementary school children throughout China.
Pastor Wang’s wife remains very concerned about the children and the fate of her husband, who is still in the custody of the public security officers (as of 10 PM, May 8). She calls on the international community to pray for her husband and for Liangren Church.
Prior to his seizure on Thursday, Wang wrote a letter, explaining the current persecution of Liangren Church. Read his letter from May 7 below:
“Some explanations on the letter from Liangren Church to seek help”
Dear respectable pastors, co-workers and members in Christ:
Greetings in Christ!
In the two years since Liangren Church of Guangzhou attracted the attention of Domestic Security Protection Squad and was investigated by them for its active participation in the relief efforts in the earthquake disaster zones of Sichuan, it has continually been suppressed and chased away by the relevant agencies of Guangzhou Government.   We have quietly endured all this by making compromises to accommodate this situation.  Our church has been searched many times and the church properties were seized by the government.  A sister of ours who majors in law really couldn’t endure this and wanted to sue the government.  I tried to talk her out of it by saying: “Don’t bother.  Since you majored in law in your undergraduate program, you should know the old maxim that ‘Though the yamen gate is open wide, you still can’t go in if you don’t have the money.’  There is no place in China where the common people can redress the injustice done on them.”
Later the government officials said to us: “The things we have confiscated are worth over 30,000 yuan no matter how you evaluate them.  So, be smart and come to redeem them with 20,000 yuan.”  I asked sisters of my house to beg them and say to them: “20,000 yuan is an astronomical figure to us.  We really don’t have so much money, but we can get together 2,000 yuan.  Their reply was: “That’s impossible.”  After that, we bargained up and down in increments of 1,000 yuan and finally redeemed our church properties for 7,000 yuan.
In Guangzhou, I have been taken to local police stations for no less than 10 times.  Once, the police took me away in their police vehicle on suspicion of theft.   They took me to Xiaoguwei Police Station and took photos specially for criminals wanted by the authorities and got my fingerprints.  For a long time, we would run away whenever we got some wind.  Our seminary was chased from Fanyu to Baiyun.   Three months later, we were ordered to leave within 24 hours.  After that, we were again forced to move to Zhangmutou in Dongguan.  Then, we moved back to Guangzhou….  In a matter of two years, we have moved over ten times.  A brother jokingly commented on the constant moves when he said: “We have been so trained that we are completely qualified to open a professional moving company in Guangzhou.”  A police officer once said to a landlord: “No matter where the church moves to, we will track them down.  As long as they hold their activities in Guangzhou, there is no place in Guangzhou where we can’t find them.”
Therefore, each time we moved, our driver brothers would always use their extraordinary driving skills to shake off the stalkers.  Several times, these drivers succeeded in getting clear of the stalking police, so that we could stay at a place peacefully for two or three months.  The last time we moved, several little sisters of our said to pastor’s wife: “Could we hire a moving company for this move?  We are really too tired to move these things this time and we would rather pay to hire people to do so.”  However, the wife of the pastor said: “But we don’t have so much money.”  We have suffered government suppression beyond our imagination and even several security guards in our residential compound whom we hired complained for us.  “It is very good for the church to hold its activities here and they have never bothered you.  Why do you want to drive them away?”
On December 14, 2008, our church was raided by over 50 people from the government.  I was taken away by a police officer and was detained separately from other people.  A police officer complained: “You Christians are good people.   The people from the Bureau of Religion are acting foolishly and don’t know what they are doing.  We the police can’t do anything about them except cooperate with them.  They’d better go away soon so that we can get off work earlier!”
As I’m writing this, it is 10:03 on May 7, 2010.  Guangzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau has again asked Luopu Police Station of Fanyu District (Tel: 02034708138) where I reside to summon me.  Just like a little to-be-killed lamb being dragged to the place of slaughter, I don’t plan to come back each time I am taken away.  Therefore, I don’t have time to finish editing this article!  I hereby ask the brothers and sisters who have read this article to pray for me.  I’m the weakest member in the body of Christ and I need your understanding and support!  I feel there is a great pressure from both outside the church and inside the church.  Recently, my migraine is getting worse and worse and I can’t sleep well.  In the meantime, I have an abdominal pain and may God cure it!  May God also bestow upon me the great joy in these numerous tests so that we can communicate with the police with reason!  May God be with me!
Your brother in Christ: Wang Dao
May 7, 2010

ChinaAid urges the Guangzhou authorities to cease their persecution of Pastor Wang Dao and Liangren House Church. We urge them to restore the church’s rights and properties, and to allow them to worship freely, according to the law.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]

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