China "Beats" And Detains Wife Of Chinese House Church Leader, Group Says


By BosNewsLife News Center

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- The mistreated wife of a senior Chinese house church leader was sentenced to ten days administrative detention in Henan province on Monday, March 19, on charges of "disturbing public order," observers close to the trial said.

US-based religious rights group China Aid Association (CAA), which has close contacts with China's growing house church movement, said 50-year-old Li Huage is not detained in the Ying An Lu Detention Center in Henan province's Nanyang city.

She was apparently arrested after seeking the return of her mobile phone, computer, and Bibles which CAA said "were illegally confiscated" on March 6 from her home.

Earlier her husband, Pastor Dong Quanyu, was reportedly released Friday, March 16, after serving a ten day sentence for involvement in what authorities called an "illegal religious gathering."

WIFE "BEATEN HEAVILY"

His wife, " Ms. Li was beaten heavily by the [local Public Security Bureau] officers on March 16 outside the detention center before she met with her released husband," CAA said.

Pastor Dong is the Vice-President of the Chinese House Church Alliance, an umbrella group of 'house churches', which are often organized in homes of believers.

Dozens of other Chinese House Church leaders, three South Korean Pastors as well as Dong and his wife Li were initially arrested while attending a Bible study at their home in Nanyang city on March 6. Their house was "raided and [they were] taken to the police station for interrogation," CAA said.

POLICE SEARCHING HOUSE

Police also searched the house and took away personal properties including mobile phones, a computer, and Christian books, including Bibles, "without giving any receipt as required by law," CAA and Chinese Christians said. Most of the pastors were soon released after intensive international pressure.

The crackdown has been linked by human rights groups to fears within the Chinese Communist Party about the spread of Christianity in China. Officials have said there may be as many as 130-million Christians in China, most of them gathering in 'house churches'.

The Chinese government has denied any wrongdoing, saying Christians are free worship in the government-backed denominations. (With BosNewsLife Research and reports from China).

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