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China Releases Key Christian Leader

Monday, November 10, 2008 | Tag Cloud

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- A key leader of China's rapidly growing underground house church movement who disappeared last month, was free Saturday, November 8, after Chinese authorities released him and other family members, Chinese Christians confirmed.

Pastor 'Bike' Zhang Mingxuan, his wife and her sister were released October 27 from detention in the city of Nanyang in China's Henan province, said China Aid Association (CAA), a Christian rights group.

"It is believed that the three were being held to prevent them from attending the third anniversary of the Chinese House Church Alliance which was held in Beijing on October 20," CAA added.

Pastor Bike, who leads the Alliance and also works as an evangelist, was reportedly one of some 300 delegates invited to attend the celebration. "Because of police harassment," only about 100 delegates reached the Chinese capital, Chinese sources said.

Pastor Bike was first detained on October 16, after his sons, Zhang Jian and Zhang Chuang, were beaten by police and his wife was evicted from their apartment, US and other officials explained.

WOMEN DETAINED

The two woman were brought to Nanyang city, while Pastor was held in the PSB office of Shilin city of Yunnan province, allegedly with some 15 PSB officers watching and questioning him.

Although the pastor and his family, including his sons, are now free to move in Nanyang city, theystill suffer of harsh police treatment, CAA claimed. Especially his two sons "are still recovering from their injuries," the group said.

Yet Pastor Bike's younger son, Zhang Chuang, has been ordered by his landlord to leave his Beijing apartment, Christians said. "The landlord has been under pressure from PSB officers to formally evict Zhang Chuang to force him permanently out of Beijing," CAA noted.

Zhang Jian, Pastor Bike's oldest son, was evicted from his apartment immediately following the October 16 police attack. CAA linked the crackdown to a government backed directive which requires Beijing citizens to "report those engaging in activities that endanger state security by utilizing religions." China's Communist government has denied human rights abuses, saying Christians are free to worship within the state-run churches

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Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » China » China Releases Key Christian Leader