China Aid Association
Photo: Mr. Tong who is recovering from injuries suffered while in custody
On Christmas Day, Christmas Services Stopped in Xinjiang; House Church Leaders Arrested; Persecution Against Beaten Christian Businessman Intensified
Midland, Texas (CAA, 12-27-2005)—CAA learned that on Christmas Day, 12 house church leaders were arrested in Xinjiang..
According to eyewitness reports, at 10:30am on December 25 (Beijing Time), 200 police officers and officials from Religious Affairs Bureau with 17 police vehicles raided a house church during its Christmas gathering in a rented commercial facility at downtown Ma Na Si County, Xinjiang Autonomous Region. 210 Christians and their leaders were gathered for a Christmas celebration.
According to an eyewitness report, at 11am, 12 leaders were arrested. Their private property was confiscated with no receipts issued. The items were one rented minivan, one Buick car, one piano, one video camera; 80 copies of the Bible, 230 new towels. The police also confiscated all the Christmas food before they left. According to one female pastor who was at the meeting, the police officers presented a search warrant and stated the meeting was an “illegal religious gathering.”
At 12 o’clock midnight the next day, 7 of the leaders were released and 5 are still in custody. They are pastor Guo Xianyao (54), Ms. Lu Jianzhen (47), Ms. Wu Haifang (28), Ms. Wang Ximei (54) and Ms. Zhou Bin (50). There is an eyewitness account of Pastor Guo Xianyao was being beaten by the police. They are currently detained at Ma Na Si County Detention Center. All those arrested were required to pay fine and finger printed.
CAA also learned on Christmas Eve, at 1pm one house church Christmas meeting at Korla City of Xinjiang was disrupted by 6 police officers. One hundred believers were gathered there at the time of raid. They were forced to stop the meeting and directed to go to the government sanctioned TSPM church meeting. The church leader told our CAA contact that they will continue their worship weekly but somewhere else.
Meanwhile, December 13, House church pastors Ms. Miao Fengming and Mr. Liu Haibo were detained for 24 hours by the PSB of Zhaqi County, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. They were accused of ‘leading illegal religious gatherings.” In Gushi county, Henan Province and Suqian City of Jiangsu Province, the houses of Pastor Yang Li (38) and Shi Enhao were raided respectively. They were not at home at the time of raid. The police demanded their relatives hand over these two pastors for their alleged activities with “Falun Gong” and “illegal religious activities.”
CAA also learned the persecution against the beaten Christian businessman Mr. Tong Qimiao has been stepped up. In order to drive Mr. Tong out of business from Xinjiang, on December 15, the Kashi Municipal Bureau for Industrial and Commercial Administration issued an official notice to Mr. Tong demanding that he pay a fine of 15000RMB($2000) for “illegal” business practices. According to a government source, this action was taken purely at the request of Kashi State Security Bureau in order to punish him for his “legal” challenge against the official who physically assaulted and threatened Mr. Tong for his church activities. Mr. Tong’s civil rights claim was denied by the local court. Mr. Tong was severely beaten and suffered a broken rib by an agent from Xinjiang State Security Bureau on September 28, 2005. He was interrogated for his relationship with a house church in that area. Because Mr. Tong took legal action against his persecutors, his furniture factory and store in a local mall were ordered closed and many items of furniture were confiscated on October 13 .
In response to the notice, CAA learned Mr. Tong’s attorney Mr. Zhang Xingshui, the director of Beijing Jingding Law Firm has sent a legal letter to Kashi Municipal Bureau for Industrial and Commercial Administration asking for a hearing.
Christmas Eve, Catholic Priests Beaten in Tianjin City
According to RFA reports, on December 19th, 48 Catholic priests from Shanxi province were beaten by 30 unidentified gansters in Tianjin City where they were sent by their parish to negotiate the return of catholic church property with the deputy mayor of Tianjin City. Seven priests were wounded and one Catholic believer is still hospitalized. The gangsters were already gone by the time the police arrived.
CAA condemns the arrest of these innocent church leaders and urges the Chinese authority to release them immediately. “How can people have any faith in the Chinese government’s claim of religious freedom when peaceful Christmas celebrations were stopped and innocent citizens of faith were arbitrarily arrested?” said Rev. Bob Fu, president of CAA.
People of faith should write to the Chinese authority to demand their release.
Phone and Fax of your protest can be sent to the following numbers:
Mr. Wang Wei, General Secretary of CCP of Ma Na Si County:
Contact persons of Kashi Municipal Bureau for Industrial and Commercial Administration:
Mr. Sika Ai and Mr. Jianglong Guo: Tel:+86- 998-2823266
Mr. Tong Qimiao’s phone:+86-13579303477
Issued by China Aid on December 27, 2005
Pursuant to the relevant provisions specified in “Law for Administrative Penalty of the People’s Republic of China,” you (your work unit) has the right to state your reasons and defend yourself. You may also request for a hearing. If you request to explain, defend yourself or hold a hearing, please apply for it at this bureau within 3 (three) days after you receive this notice. Failure to apply within the time specified will be regarded as renunciation of the above rights
Contact persons of this bureau:
Sika Ai Tel: 0998-2823266
Kashi Municipal Bureau for Industrial and Commercial Administration
December 15, 2005
This document exists in three copies. One is to be sent to the addressee; one is for the archive and one is to be filed with the undertaking agency.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]