Mass Arrest of Chinese and American Christian Leaders in Xinjiang

Dan Wooding | ASSIST News Service | Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Mass Arrest of Chinese and American Christian Leaders in Xinjiang

Mass Arrest of Chinese and American Christian Leaders in Xinjiang

MIDLAND, TX -- China Aid Association (CAA) has told ASSIST News Service that it has learned though “credible sources” that on April 19, 2007 in Akesu City, located in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, that about 30 major Chinese house church leaders were arrested when they met with four American Christians.

“Among the Americans are a senior pastor and an associate pastor of an American church,” said a CAA spokesperson. “Sources tell us that the four Americans arrived at Akesu airport on April 17 and started fellowship with the house church leaders on April 18 at a local church family house.”

The spokesperson said the latest news is that the four Americans are still being held in an undisclosed hotel for questioning. The translator for the Americans, Mr. Jinhong Li from Beijing, is also still being detained.

“On April 23, the Public Security Bureau (PSB) confiscated the luggage of the four Americans from the house of their host, a local church family,” said the CAA spokesperson

“Eight Chinese pastors were released on April 20 and at least 6 others have already received criminal detention papers for 30 days detention for being accused as ‘suspects involved in evil cult activities.’”

CAA says that the names of the accused are Pastor Xinglan Zhao, Pastor Xiurong Huang, Pastor Tianlu Yang, 41, Pastor Chaoyi Wang, 41, Pastor Cuiling Li, 48, and Pastor Sijun He.

The Chinese government may sentence the six accused pastors to 1-3 years re-education through labor because they were previously detained for one month for organizing house church activities a couple of years ago.

Eyewitnesses told CAA that at least two of the arrested were seen with bleeding noses and bruises on their faces because of torture in the interrogation site.

They are being held at A Ke Su City Detention Center.

CAA says that it has learned that the US Embassy is intervening in this case.

“We urge the Xinjiang authorities to abide with both the Chinese and international laws in respect of religious freedom.” said Rev. Bob Fu, president of CAA. “These Americans and Chinese Christians have done nothing wrong and the police who are engaging in torture against theses Christians are to be held legally and morally responsible for what they have done.”

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© 2007 ASSIST News Service, used with permission