House church crackdown

By July 25, 2008

China
(MNN) — As the wife of Pastor Zhang Zhongxin appealed his sentence to two
years re-education through labor, Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers
proceeded to crack down on other members of his church, Voice of the
Martyrs-Canada
reports. 

Together with Zhang's lawyer Li Fangping, Zhang's wife Wang Guiyun
submitted an appeal to the District of People's Court of Jining City on behalf
of her husband, requesting that the court withdraw the labor camp decision,
according to China Aid Association. The
appeal is awaiting review. 

Pastor Zhang, of Jining City Shandong, has already been transferred to Shandong Province labor camp on July 6, CAA
said. He is not due to be released until
June 5, 2010. 

On the very same day, July 14, Chinese officials and an
"anti-cult group" raided the homes of Mr. Lu Xiaoai, Mr. Li Dali, and Mr. Lian
Dehai–all members of Pastor Zhang's church. They confiscated Christian materials such as Bibles, CD-ROMs, and
religious literature, and also detained Lian. Lian was placed under criminal detention at the City Public Security
Bureau, CAA said. 

PSB officers have been using a list of house church members
to detain Christians in Jiaxiang
County. Sources speculate that they obtained the list
through spies planted in Jiaxiang house churches. 

There are more Christians in prison in China than any
other country in the world, and it has been estimated that six percent of the
population is Christian. According to
CAA, the director of China's
State Administration for Religious Affairs claimed behind closed doors in 2006
that the total of Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians in China is 130
million.

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