By BosNewsLife News Center
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- The leader of China's House Church Alliance in the country's Inner Mongolia region has been detained along with dozens of co-workers, an organization representing the Christians said in remarks monitored by BosNewsLife Friday, February 22.
Wang Dawai and over 40 church leaders, including a South Korean, were taken into custody Wednesday, February 20, apparently in Xilinhaote City, by Chinese security forces, reported advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA).
The whereabouts the South Korean church official remained unknown Friday, February 22. China has expelled several foreign missionary and church workers in recent months, rights groups say.
The leaders in Inner Mongolia were detained during a Bible study meeting, which was interrupted by "more than 100 police officers from the State Security Bureau and members of the Religious Affairs Bureau," CAA said.
Police officials reportedly also confiscated money donated to the church and over 30 boxes of Bibles and other Christian literature. "Security Bureau members then searched the personal residence of Wang Dawei," CAA told BosNewsLife.
The latest incident came on the heels of news Wednesday, February 20, that two theological teachers were missing and 21 major house church leaders locked up in a labor camp in China’s what CAA described as China's "most massive persecution case" involving Christians in decades.
Dong Shanshan and Xu Yuanyuan, both 24, were detained Monday, February 18, at a train station of Luohe City in Henan Province by Chinese security forces. Earlier in Shandong Province the 21 other church leaders were "simultaneously sentenced to a labor camp" by Linyi City’s ‘Re-education Through Labor Commission’, CAA said.
The intensity of persecution amongst members of the Chinese House Church Alliance, the main umbrella group of underground house churches, is expected to "increase as the Beijing Olympics draw near," CAA claimed. Several groups have said that Communist officials want to make sure that Christians will not use the Olympics to get world attention for the plight f allegedly persecuted believers or use the venue to spread Christianity.
"This latest incident highlights the hypocrisy of Chinese officials who promote a "Harmonious Society" while simultaneously persecuting innocent and patriotic citizens such as Wang Dawei and others," CAA said. "We urge the Chinese Government to release these Christians and remain consistent with its own rhetoric on Religious freedom and rule of law."
China's government says Christians are free to worship within the official churches, and that it will crackdown on what it considers as "dangerous sects." (With reports from China)
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