Shandong Christian Sues Police for Illegal Detention; Landlord Bans Meetings in Henan Pastor’s Home

Mandarin Service, Radio Free Asia | October 27, 2011
image[2]In May this year, authorities in Liangshan County, Ji’ning, Shandong province, placed Christian Liu Xiuying in administrative detention for engaging in “activities harmful to society.”  Last week, she hired a lawyer to sue the police for violating the law.  In a separate case, Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, told Radio Free Asia on Thursday that his landlord had warned him not to hold house church meetings in his home or the landlord would not renew the lease.  Having no other choice, Pastor Zhang has decided to move.
Photo at right:  Administrative punishment decision of the Public Security Bureau of Liangshan County, Shandong province. (Courtesy of China Aid Association)

Reports of Christians being repressed throughout China are once again emerging.  According to China Aid Association, a Christian rights defense organization based in Texas, in the United States, Liu Xiuying is a devout Christian who joined a Christian church in 1986.  In 2006, after passing the requisite exams, she became a preacher in the church.  Several months ago, authorities started to harass her constantly.  In May, when she and other believers were holding a Sunday service at a church in an asbestos insulation factory on Middle Shuipo Road in Liangshan County, she was seized by police officers and religious affairs officials and taken to a police station.  They said that her faith was cultic and a heresy.  Thereafter, she was summoned by police many times and even detained.
ChinaAid strongly denounced this incident.  Its president Pastor Bob Fu told Radio Free Asia on Thursday that Liu Xiuying has decided to sue the Public Security official responsible for this incident.  Fu said, “Starting from May 29, they persecuted her and did not allow her to go to other places to deliver her sermons.  On Sept. 9, the Liangshan County Public Security Bureau issued an administrative punishment decision of five days of administrative detention for ‘harming society by fraudulently using the name of religion.’ This situation violates the basic rights of freedom of religion, therefore, Liu Xiuying has hired a Christian rights defense lawyer to sue the Liangshan County Public Security Bureau.  On Oct. 21, she filed an application for an administrative lawsuit with the Liangshan County People’s Court.  The court has already told her that it would notify her within seven days whether they will accept the case.”
He said that Liu Xiuying’s experiences are an example of the government’s repression of house churches: “We steadfastly support Sister Liu Xiuying in defending her rights in accordance with the law.  What we want to point out is that this is a case in which a preacher who has passed the tests required by the official Three-Self church is being persecuted.  This shows that in China these days, regardless of whether one is part of a house church or a Three-Self church, if a person persists in the principles of the faith, he or she will be persecuted by the government.”
Chinese House Church Alliance president Zhang Mingxuan, who lives in Nanyang, Henan province, said reports are coming from all over China recently of Christians being arrested: “They are coming from different places.  I’ve heard that more than 10 missionaries from Wenzhou were arrested in Tibet.  Seven were arrested in Inner Mongolia and one in Liangshan, Shandong province.  In some places, they don’t dare share the news with outsiders.  Many places are cracking down to different degrees.”
Zhang Mingxuan himself has recently been under pressure from his landlord, and he says he has no choice but to move: “We are also moving. They want us out by tomorrow. They (authorities) didn’t say we are not allowed to hold meetings here.  They said it was the landlord who won’t permit us to meet here.”
Reporter:  They pressured the landlord and the landlord said you had to move out, right?
Answer: Yes, yes, but they dare not admit it.
Reporter:  How long have you rented here?
Answer:  It’s been three years.  In Beijing, I rented a place from a sister (in the church), and we were allowed to hold meetings there.  Now, they don’t allow us to meet.  We can still rent it, but the landlord has jacked up the rent and won’t let us hold our meetings here.
Reporter:  How big is the place in square meters?
Answer: This courtyard is 200-300 square meters and can accommodate dozens of people.
In April this year, the authorities banned Shouwang Church, the largest church in Beijing, from holding its worship meetings indoors, so the believers switched to outdoor meetings.  But this was met with police obstruction, and the church leaders were either placed under house arrest or under surveillance.  In its newsletter for this week, Shouwang Church said this was the 29th Sunday of outdoor worship.  Quite a few brothers and sisters were still restricted to their homes by the local police starting on Saturday.  On Sunday morning, 14 brothers and sisters were taken away while on their way to the outdoor meeting site. They were sent to six different local police stations.  By midnight Monday, 11 had been released.  This reporter tried to call several believers, but couldn’t get through.
Reported by Qiao Long, special reporter from Radio Free Asia

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

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