January 15, 2010
SHANXI–Before dawn on Sunday, September 13, 2009, a band of 400 government officials, police and hired ruffians launched an attack on Linfen-Fushan Church in Shanxi. With no warning, members who were sleeping at the church construction site were mercilessly beaten, with more than 30 left in critical condition. Bulldozers razed the factory and church building to the ground, and the mob looted any valuables and smashed the remaining property. Following the brutal attack, the Fushan governing officials arrested more than ten Linfen church leaders.
Esther, the daughter of two Linfen pastors, called home frantically in October, after learning about the attack on Fushan Church over the internet. The phone rang and rang, but no one answered. She later learned from a relative that her father and mother had been arrested in a sweeping backlash against house church leaders on October 11, 2009.
In the trial held on November 25th, Esther’s father Yang Xuan was convicted of “unlawfully occupying agricultural land” and sentenced to 3 1/2 years with a 20,000 Yuan fine. Her Aunt Yang Rongli received a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison and 30,000 Yuan fine, and her Uncle Wang Xiaoguang received 3 years in prison with a 10,000 Yuan fine. Esther’s mother, Yang Caizhen, was arbitrarily sentenced to two years Re-education through Labor in the brutal Laogai (labor-camp) system. Already fearing for their safety and health, Esther learned in December that her mother had been severely beaten in prison.
ChinaAid has now partnered with Esther (Yang Xue) to tell the world about the persecution of Linfen Church, with our new website, www.HelpLinfen.com.
HelpLinfen.com tells the full story of the Persecution of Linfen Church, complete with translated documentation and photo evidence. It also includes (Esther’s) The Daughter of Linfen Prisoners’ Appeal to the international community, as well as the appeals and testimonies of other family members and prisoners. In the coming months, HelpLinfen.com will also feature more ways to get involved and share the Linfen story with others.
Visit www.HelpLinfen.com today, and help us raise awareness about the devastating persecution of Linfen Church and house church Christians in China.
More Ways to Help Linfen Church!
Join ChinaAid in supporting the lawyers and families of these imprisoned Linfen Church pastors, by contributing to our Family of Prisoners and Legal Defense Funds.
These funds go directly to the family members of prisoners of conscience for their basic needs during this trying time, and to the lawyers who are leading the defense and filing the cases and appeals. Esther’s parents and the 8 other Linfen church pastors agreed to appeal in December, 2009. Their lawyers have already begun filing the appeals.
ChinaAid needs your help to continue defending the persecuted. We humbly ask you to consider contributing to these funds and joining us in our efforts to secure religious freedom in China. With your help, we can continue to bring truth to light and pursue justice for Linfen Church.
Click here to donate to the Family of Prisoners and Legal Defense Funds.
For more information on the Linfen Church Case, visit www.HelpLinfen.com.
Tracy Oliver, Media Coordinator
Tel: (267) 210-8278, or [email protected]
Mark Shan, CAA Spokesperson
Tel: (267) 205-5210, or [email protected]
Website: www.ChinaAid.org and www.MonitorChina.org
Help Linfen Church! Site Launch for HelpLinfen.com