Procuratorate officially arrests Wang Minghai, Wan Hongxia, Han Xuelei, and Xie Zhifeng, four house church schoolteachers detained in Wuhu

“Saint James Middle School,” first church school missionaries established 
in Wuhu 100 years ago.
(Photo: ChinaAid resource)

(Wuhu, Anhui Province—August 09, 2021) Earlier in August, the procuratorate officially arrested Wang Minghai, Wan Hongxia, Han Xuelei, and Xie Zhifeng, four house church teachers in Wuhu, Anhui Province, charging them of “illegal business operations.” Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities, however, released six other previously detained teachers, including Yang Zhiyan, arrested on bail.

The four arrested teachers, and the six teachers released on bail work for the same house church school On May 27, police raided the campus and seized the teachers, accusing each of “illegal business operation.” Police officers also confiscated personal and school items. Officers had detained Wang Minghai, Wan Hongxia, Han Yanlei, Xie Zhifeng at Wuhu No. 1 Detention Center.

 In the past, as CCP authorities have cracked down on Christianity, they have regularly, repeatedly raided and shut down schools of house churches throughout China. Officials have escalated persecution since the recently modified Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of the Minors became effective June 1. CCP legislators added two items including “Internet protection” and “government protection” to the regulation. The “government protection” section specifies that if children do not receive compulsory State-sanctioned education, government departments have the right to strip parents of their custodial rights. The Department of Civil Affairs then gains custody of these children.

China Inland Mission, the first missionary organization to arrive in Wuhu, introduced Christianity there more than 100 years ago. In 1885, Yan Yongjing, a Chinese pastor of the U.S. Episcopal Church, established Saint James Church, the second missionary organization founded in Wuhu. Pastor Yan, also one of the founders of Central China Normal University, as well as the first translator, introduced western psychology books to China. 

By 1919, western missionary organizations in Wuhu had planted seven churches, sponsored 26 missionaries, and established two church schools. At that time, 900 people professed Christianity. Before 1949, a public mission area existed for multiple denominations in Wuhu. From 1950 to 1953, however, CCP authorities deported all western missionaries, as well as commandeered churches and their schools. Instead of supporting public missions and establishing churches, Wuhu became a city where CCP authorities persecuted Churches, and their schools.

Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church, a primary target for CCP persecution, sent out a Kingdom Prayer Request via Telegram. Members call on Christians to intercede for Wang Minghai, Wan Hongxia, Han Yanlei, and Xie Zhifeng.

May the Lord avenge them, watch over them and their families.
May he strengthen their faith in hardships
so that they will stand firm in the trial and testify to Christ.
Also, pray for six brothers and sisters,
including Yang Zhiyan, released on bail.
May the Lord’s presence comfort and support them
so that they would not be intimidated by human threats.
Rather, they share one goal, stand firm,
and strive for the sake of the gospel they believe in.

~ Yu Bing, ChinaAid Special Reporter

Put on the whole armor of God, 
that you may be able to 
stand against
the wiles of the devil.                                                 
                                                             ~ Ephesians 6:11(NKJV)


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