(Huaibei, Anhui—July 6, 2017) A minister’s wife and fellow church member pressed administrative charges against the government on Monday for unlawfully detaining several Christians when they disputed to their pastor’s arbitrary imprisonment in China’s eastern Anhui province.
On July 3, Wang Hong and Gu Quanxiao, the respective wife of incarcerated Caili Church pastor Chen Shixin and one of the church’s congregants, accused authorities of illegally sentencing several church members to 10 days in administrative detention for gathering in front of the police station to protest Chen’s unlawful imprisonment. According to Wang, court officials affirmed that the case had been accepted in person, but she is still waiting on a mandatory phone call for confirmation.
These charges come on the heels of an update to Chen’s charge. In a meeting with his lawyer, the pastor disclosed that police officers informed him during an interrogation that he was suspected of damaging 190,000 yuan ($27,928.00 USD) worth of trees, even though they told him that his charge was not serious and urged him to plead guilty. Chen insisted that he only worked on land that had been contracted by the church and did not damage any trees.
Authorities seized Chen on May 12 as part of an escalating dispute over the church’s land. On May 18, the public security bureau arrested him on the falsified charge of “intentionally sabotaging public and private property” and had not previously mentioned the 190,000 yuan.
Following his arrest, officials raided Chen’s home on June 14 and confiscated his computer console.
ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Chen and Caili Church members, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.
ChinaAid Media Team
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