Sanggu Church in Henan Province Banned for Second Time by Local Government

China Aid Association

Officials announced the decision to ban Laojie Christian Church

(HENAN — August 14, 2009) On August 13 at 8:00 p.m. (Beijing time), two Laojie Christian Church leaders were guarding their church building in Sandong village, Sanggu town, Xiayi county of Shangqiu in Henan province when they were arrested by authorities. At the time of this press release, Li Guangren and Zheng Xiancai were still being detained by the Public Security Bureau of Xiayi County.
The arrests are the latest in a series of incidents in which authorities have attempted to confiscate the church building by force.  Laojie Christian Church is an unregistered house church with more than 200 believers, and has been meeting at their current location since April 1987. Recently village officials began working with real estate developers to build a highway that would go through the location of the church property. In this development, government officials could sell the church property at a higher price, resulting in high profits.
The Village Party Committee of Sangdong village proposed to exchange the church’s current for land half the size and in another location. When Laojie Christian Church of Sanggu turned down the proposal, requesting a more equitable exchange of land, the Village Party Committee of Sangdong Village threatened to demolish the church’s building by force.
On August 6, 2009 the Bureau of Religious and Ethnic Affairs in Xiayi County issued a second notice officially banning Laojie Christian Church in Sangdong village, Sanggu town, Xiayi county of Shangqiu in Henan province. The document declared the church “an illegal site for religious activities” and banned the church. In addition, the document accused the church of “being indifferent” and taking a “laisser-faire attitude” toward the previous document abolishing the church issued on June 27, because the Christians have continued to meet at the site. Since May 26, Christians from the church have been guarding the site almost 24 hours a day.
Laojie Christian Church of Sanggu sent the following three cell phone numbers of church members and invite the international community to contact them:

Read the first notice of abolishing the church issued on June 27.
Read the second notice banning the church issued on August 6.
UPDATE: New Tang Dynasty Television contacted ChinaAid on August 18, 2009 for an Interview with Bob Fu. Click here to view the post, released at 1:30 PM 8/19/2009 on NDTDTV.
Contact the Chinese embassy on behalf of Laojie Christian Church and urge that authorities immediately release Li Guangren and Zheng Xiancai, retract the notice of abolishment and respect the Christians’ religious freedom as guaranteed by China’s Constitution. 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

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]

Scroll to Top