(Taiyuan, Shanxi Province) Yesterday morning, Yao Congya, the wife of Zion Reformed Church minister An Yankui, went to Fenyang Public Security Bureau, requesting to visit her husband with his lawyer. Yao and Mr. An’s lawyer submitted the required documents, but their request was denied.
According to Yao Congya, she saw police officer Deng in the police station, the man who arrested her husband nine days prior. Mr. An’s lawyer wanted to meet with him to learn more about his case, but Deng denied the request under the excuse that the case was still under investigation. Mr. Deng said he will arrange some time for them to meet at a later time.
Minister An Yankui and the church’s co-worker Mr. Zhang Chenghao were arrested by Lüliang police officers after Sunday service on November 21. Yao and minister An Yankui came home to find police officers invading their house. Officials subsequently arrested An. On November 24, Yao Congya received her husband’s detention notice from Fenyang Public Security Bureau. Zhang Chenghao’s wife, Guo Juan, also received a detention notice. Fenyang authorities criminally detained both men on charges of “illegally crossing the national border”.
When Yao Congya met with Deng again today, she asked him to return her cell phones, personal computers, and other electronic devices he stole during the raid. Deng claimed he could not return the items until the investigation was complete. He apologized for prying open their door during the raid, but he would not admit whether or not it was legal.
In the end, Deng warned the minister’s wife not to attend unapproved house churches and instead go to a government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Church. Mrs. Yao told him Chinese people should have religious freedom.
|Zhang Chenghao and Guo Juan at their wedding on October 4|
(Photo: ChinaAid source)
Authorities arrested Brother Zhang Chenghao with minister An Yankui. He just got married on October 4 to Guo Juan. On November 21, she and her husband invited another couple to their home. When they arrived, police officers waited outside. They took Zhang Chenghao to Wucheng police station after searching the home. Police officers confiscated all the electronic devices, flash drives, books and personal computers, without providing a list of impounded items. After Guo Juan requested, they asked her to go to Wucheng police station to pick up the impound list. Because her cell phone was confiscated, did not know what happened to her
husband until receiving his detention notice on November 24
Early Rain Covenant Church mentioned in the prayer request letter on November 28:
”Minister An Yankui, Brother Zhang Chenghao, and another 5 arrested Fenyang Christians were criminally detained under the so-called charge of ‘illegally crossing the national border’. The government intends to cut off the connection between Chinese churches and international churches. This is indeed the devil’s scheme. Chinese churches were once forced to denounce foreign missionaries and cut off the connection with Catholic churches. Will the history happen again?”
~Yu Bing, China Aid Special Reporter