Religious repression in China - Plead to help victims
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- More than 200 police officers and government officials in Henan province raided a house church (religious services are often celebrated in private houses to avoid represion), taking more than 50 Christians into custody and detaining eight of them on "criminal" charges.
- That was one year ago ... now their case has gone to court. And, the result was not good –seven were charged with "cult activity" and they all received prison sentences –from the pastor to a few ladies who were making copies of the sermons
May 30.─ Last year police and government officials raided a house church in Hunan where 54 young people were quietly attending a Bible study class. Suddenly, more than 200 police and government officials surrounded the meeting place and took all the students away, including a mother and her one-year-old infant!
The entire police force of Ye county, officials from the township government, armed police and the fire brigade, and anti-terrorism police were all out in force to execute the police action. Police were also equipped with two water cannons. In addition, the Pingdingshan Public Security Bureau and officers from the police stations of two neighboring townships also assisted in the raid.
The Ye county Public Security Bureau has repeatedly refused to produce the legally required paperwork to the family of the detainees. The relatives learned through private connections that the Public Security Bureau has already formally arrested the Christians and criminally detained them on the charge of "suspicion of organizing a cult to undermine national law enforcement.
This persecution shocked ChinaAid so we've closely monitored the developments, calling on the development of the facts of the case.
Our independent investigation finds that these house church members who are under arrest have not done anything wrong or anything illegal. They are being persecuted for nothing more than the exercise of their right to religious freedom by peacefully gathering to worship God.
Now, fast forward to the current day ... where in Henan the seven were sentenced on April 1st to prison sentences ranging from three to 7-1/2 years, according to the well-known Christian lawyer Li Baiguang. Their defense lawyers received the verdict and sentencing papers just last week.
Those who were sentenced were:
- Han Hai is 60 years old and received a seven and one-half year sentence.
- Hu Linpo is 49 and from Singapore, a seven year sentence was received.
- Yang Lianbing, 23, received a three-year sentence.
- Zhang Mian, the owner if the residence received a four-year sentence.
- Cao Xia is in her 50's and she received a 3-1/2-year sentence.
- Wang En and Li Dan, both females in their 20s each received a three-year sentence.
It's unclear whether or not these sentences can be appealed, but, ChinaAid is looking into each case – it's costly to appeal as each appeal can cost between $3,000 and $5,000.
Click HERE to help those illegally detained present an appeal