By BosNewsLife Asia Service
BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- Pastor Zhang "Bike" Mingxuan and his wife celebrated their first peaceful Sunday in more than three months after officials restored their water and electricity and permitted their house church to gather, their supporters said Wednesday, October 1.
"Pastor Bike and his wife returned to Beijing on September 21 after being kidnapped and detained by Chinese police during the Olympics," said Christian advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA).
The couple rented an apartment, but on September 22, the coupleâ€™s water and electricity were cut off by the China's law enforcement agency, the Public Security Bureau (PSB), of Chaoyang District of Beijing, the group said. "Officials told Pastor Bike he was not welcome in the city [and his] landlord was also threatened and told to stop renting to the couple."
Pastor Bike tried to sue the PSB, but the local court and prosecutor office allegedly refused to take up his case because of a "lack of eyewitnesses."
On the morning of September 26, Pastor Bike went to the main PSB office of Beijing's Chaoyang district to file a complaint against its branch, a move that apparently had some results. "Officials came to Bike and told him he is now allowed to operate his house church in his living area. They told him his rental apartment will not be disturbed again."
Pastor Bike reportedly thanked them and invited the officials to attend the third anniversary of the founding of the Chinese House Church Alliance scheduled for October 20. CAA said that the pastor has been thanking "all who have been praying for him and his family."
The group said that the "unique victory for Zhang's house church" is a "welcome and encouraging sign for our brothers and sisters in China." The Chinese government has been under international pressure to improve religious freedom in the Communist nation. Chinese authorities maintain that Christians are free to worship in the government backed churches, however millions of believers prefer to gather in house churches, outside state control.
Copyright 2008 BosNewsLife. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without our prior written consent.