Prominent House Church Leader Pastor "Bike" Zhang Released After International Outcry

China Aid Association
Photo:  Pastor Bike in Beijing

(BEIJING — November 6, 2008) Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan, his wife and his wife’s sister were declared “free” by government officials on October 27, 2008 at 1 p.m. in Nanyang, Henan province as a direct result of international outcry on their behalf. It is believed that the three were being held to prevent them from attending the third anniversary of the Chinese House Church Alliance which was held in Beijing on October 20. Pastor Bike, President of the Chinese House Church Alliance, was one of approximately 300 delegates invited to attend the celebration. Because of police harassment, only about 100 of the delegates made it to Beijing for the event.
Pastor Bike was first detained on October 16, after his sons, Zhang Jian and Zhang Chuang, were beaten by police and his wife was evicted from their apartment. The Public Security Bureau (PSB) sent out two separate groups to arrest the family. One group of PSB officers picked up Pastor Bike at the Kunming Airport. Another group arrested his wife and his wife’s sister in Beijing and took them to Nanyang city, Henan province. Pastor Bike was detained in the PSB office of Shilin city, Yunnan province with about 15 PSB officers watching and questioning him in turn. On October 23, Pastor Bike was transported by police car to Nanyang city by two PSB officers from the PSB of Nanyang city. He and his wife along his wife’s sister were detained at Wenquan Hotel in Nanyang city until October 27 when they were all declared “free”.
Pastor Bike’s sons, Zhang Jian and Zhang Chuang, moved with their families to Nanyang city, Henan province under police pressure soon after the October 16 attack. They are still recovering from their injuries. However, Pastor Bike’s younger son, Zhang Chuang, has been ordered by his landlord to report back to Beijing and move out of the apartment that he is legally renting. The landlord has been under pressure from PSB officers to formally evict Zhang Chuang to force him permanently out of Beijing. Zhang Jian, Pastor Bike’s oldest son, was evicted from his apartment immediately following the October 16 police attack.
The harassment of the Zhang family is believed to be directly supported by the “Citizen Informant Initiative” of the Beijing State Security Bureau issued July 25, 2008 which requires Beijing citizens to report those “engaging in activities that endanger state security by utilizing religions.” It is believed that officials want not only to force the Zhang family from Beijing, but also to suppress the Chinese House Church Alliance house churches.
After his release, Pastor Bike went directly to Beijing to meet with Chinese House Church Alliance house church members and to settle his apartment contract. At the anniversary celebration of the House Church Alliance on October 20 in Beijing, the approximately 100 Chinese House Church Alliance delegates who made it to Beijing issued a public statement, declaring they will continue live out their faith and care for the poor and orphans despite persecution.
After China Aid reported about the attack against Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan’s family and the arrest of Pastor Bike that followed, American churches, government officials and individuals expressed deep concern. As a direct result of the international outcry to the Chinese government, Pastor Bike was released. ChinaAid thanks all who voiced concern for this family, and will continue to post updates on this situation.
To request permission to reproduce ChinaAid photos and/or information, please contact [email protected].
Read the statement from the October 20, 2008 anniversary of the Chinese House Church Alliance.
Read the English translation of the “Citizen Informant Initiative” of the Beijing State Security Bureau, which includes a list of organizations targeted.

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Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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