|Officers detain members of the Daguan
House Church in a raid on May 24.
(Photo: China Aid)
Reported and written in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Edited in English by Ava Collins.
(Daguan, Guizhou—Nov. 25, 2015) Three sisters from China’s inland Guizhou province who were detained for 15 days in mid-October have been released as other members of their house church await final decisions in court.
An anonymous member of the Daguan House Church told China Aid’s reporter Qiao Nong on Nov. 22 that Xu Guoying, Xu Guoyan and Xu Guoqiong were released from their administrative detention after serving a 15-day sentence. The only reasoning given for the detention, according to the church member, was that the sisters had “violated the public security administrative punishment law.”
In October, Daguan police detained the three women, all sisters, who were worshipping in their home. The sisters were previously detained in June for “illegal assembly” and “organizing cult activities” and released after a short detention. Authorities detained Xu Guoying and Xu Guoqiong both twice during the summer for a total of 25 days.
The three sisters have a brother, Xu Guoqing, who is currently still detained with four other Daguan House Church members, Dai Xiaoqiang, Kang Chengiu, Huang Huaxin, and Tang Huanggui. Authorities detained these five across two raids on May 24 and June 7. The June raid took place during a church meeting in Xu Guoqing’s home.
On Sept. 1, the Qianxi County Procuartorate officially arrested the five who are still in custody, although China Aid only recently received information indicating that Huang Huaxin and Tang Huanggui were also among the detained. More recently, the procuratorate decided that evidence provided by the public security bureau was insufficient and returned the case to the bureau for further investigation, which means no verdict has yet been determined for Xu Guoqing, Dai, Kang, Huang and Tang.
A Christian told the reporter that he believed the procuratorate would not be able to get the case settled for at least another month. “Xu Guoqing’s situation is the most severe of these cases,” he said. “[Xu] was the person in charge. If Xu Guoqing can be returned, the others will be too.”
Daguan House Church, which was founded 13 years ago, has not gathered since the raids in May and June, for fear of retaliation. “We dare not meet,” the Christian said. “We would get arrested immediately.”
China Aid works to expose abuses of religious freedom and legal rights, such as those faced by the Daguan House Church.