China (MNN) — Persecution against Chinese house churches and their leaders continues.
On Friday, Jan. 8, officials detained 30 Chinese House Church Alliance (CHCA) leaders in Handan City in the Hebei province, ChinaAid Association reported.
One of the detained pastors was able to use his cell phone briefly to notify an outside contact about their plight. The pastor said the Public Security and Religious Affairs Bureaus' officers broke into their meeting place while the 30 men and women were holding a Bible study. He reported that officials removed them forcibly and took them to an unknown interrogation center in the city.
As the informant finished reporting that he and the other detained pastors were being threatened with 15 days of administrative detention, his call was cut off and his cell phone likely confiscated. ChinaAid officials said the phone could not be reached later on.
Some of the leaders detained include Pastor Li Ciuxiang and Elder Wu Jianghe.
Following the incident, Pastor Zhang "Bike" Mingxuan urged the Handan government to release the church leaders immediately.
Echoing his request, ChinaAid petitions the Christian community worldwide to voice their protests and call for immediate release.
Visit ChinaAid's Web site to find the contact information for your country's Chinese Embassy.
Also, pray for the safety of these leaders and their quick release.
This most recent event adds to the ongoing movement against Christians in the country, including human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng still being held as his living conditions continue to worsen and his communication with family is cut off.