China Aid Association
(BEIJING–September 15, 2009) At about two o’clock on Sunday afternoon (September 13, 2009), a crowd of strangers violently broke down the door to brother Xu Wenli’s apartment in Daqing district, Beijing. Brother Xu had previously denied entry to several strangers outside the residence before the violent break-in. According to the prayer request sent by members of the Tent-makers Christian Fellowship in Beijing, twenty local officials “swarmed into the living room with overwhelming scolding, and commanded that [Brother Xu] should stoop down, as about twenty people entered the living room, some with uniforms and some without.” Their uniforms and self admissions confirmed that the crowd included men from the local Public Service Bureau (PSB), National Security Bureau, and the Religious Affairs Bureau.
According to the Fellowship, Brother Xu was commanded to show the officers the rooms in his home and surrender the training materials produced by ministry. “Brother Xu would not comply with their commands and replied “Who are you for me to obey you? I am a legal residence of Beijing and a child of God.” He was not intimidated and pressed on the issue of legality. Brother Xu demanded that they show him the warrant for the raid, which they could not furnish. Some left for an hour or so and returned without the warrant, while the others kept questioning brother Xu and threatening him with violence. He refused to cooperate based on the illegality of their actions. Someone without uniform warned brother Xu that printing Bible verses and messages on scrolls and tote-bags is illegal and threatened to confiscate them. Brother Xu refused them entry into the rooms without the certified paper work.”
Without proof of a warrant, the officials reportedly “left without taking anything, but warned they would return to confiscate the allegedly illegal training materials, although they did not do so that day. They further threatened Brother Xu and suggested he move away from Beijing to the Hebei province.”
Brother Xu is a faithful member of The Tent-makers Christian Fellowship in Beijing. The Tent-makers Christian Fellowship is led by internationally known Beijing house church rights defender Pastor Hua Huiqi. Pastor Hua and members of his family have been arrested and tortured numerous times for his leadership in defending the basic rights and freedom of vulnerable people. His 79-year-old Christian mother, Ms. Shuang Shuying, finished her two years sentence for her human rights defense work in February, 2009. Forced to leave Beijing in August, Pastor Hua is currently being held on a “forced vacation” in Shanxi province by the Beijing PSB, in order to show the “stability of Beijing” during the 60th anniversary of the CPC rule in China.
The members of the Tent-makers Fellowship request prayer for their ministry and for the salvation of the officials who have violated their rights: “Please pray for the evangelism of China and the effectiveness of the Tent-makers Fellowship in spreading the gospel, as well as living with Biblical humanity dignity and rights in God’s image for everyone.”
ChinaAid also recently learned that the owner of Xu’s rental apartment, under severe pressure from the PSB, told Xu to move out of the apartment within the next few days.
ChinaAid urges the international community to pressure the Beijing government to stop persecuting its citizens who are legally practicing religious freedom, by abiding its constitutional promise and international obligations.
To contact the Chinese Embassy with your concerns;
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760
NOTE: If you are a citizen of another country, please click here to find the contact information of the Chinese embassy in your own nation http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/2490/.