Authorities Urged to Determine Whether Cults are ‘Harmful to Society’ by Alex Buchan LONDON (Compass) — The Chinese government sponsored an International Symposium on Evil Cults in Beijing November 8-10 that urged local authorities not to inquire too closely into the beliefs of accused cults. Instead, authorities were encouraged to assess whether they are “harmful to society” — a catch-all criterion that some house church leaders fear could lead to their own movements being classed as cults. Nearly 60 academics from all over the world attended the Beijing Symposium, and it was full of predictable denunciation of the Chinese folk … Read more
Turkmenistan’s political police evicted a Protestant Christian pastor with his wife and two children from their home near Ashgabad on December 9, confiscating their personal deed of ownership and sealing the gate to prevent their return.
When millions of Chinese evangelicals gather for services in their homeland, the worship is rarely music to the ears. Forget the last minute sound checks, voice warm-ups, or instrument tuning. This worship is music to the heart.
Authorities in Vietnam are jamming Christian radio broadcasts in a desperate attempt to curb the rapid spread of Protestant Christianity among the Hmong minority in the country’s northwest provinces along the China border.
Chinese police detained 130 members of a Protestant house church movement in central Henan province on Wednesday, according to a Hong Kong-based human rights group. Among the arrested were three American citizens, the Information Centre for Human Rights and the Democratic Movement in China said.
“The most severe persecution happened to us on Sunday, October 17, 1999. They detained 150 Christians and prepared to send some of them to ‘reform through education’ camps for three years. They fined some of us 2,000 RMB. They didn’t even give me a receipt. (Society here is now so corrupt!) But we did not cease to meet.”
In Anhui province in eastern China — a center of Christian house church activity — the provincial government is enforcing a repressive religious policy that has continued for many years and shows no sign of abatement. And reliable house church sources say control is being further tightened.
Zhang Rongliang, also known as David Zhang, is at large in China despite receiving a three-years’ hard labor sentence in December 1999. Reliable reports from central China say he was able to buy himself out of jail. But Born Again movement leader Xu Yongze remains incarcerated, despite having completed his three-year sentence on March 15, and 10 more house church leaders were arrested in southeast China in May.
China’s most famous house church prisoner, Mr. Xu Yongze, is free. The 58-year-old founder of the Born Again movement was released on May 16, after serving a three-year “re-education through labor” sentence for establishing an illegal organization in China.
Two colleagues of prominent Chinese evangelist Li Dexian have been sentenced to 15 days in prison, an Australian-based monitoring group reported. Ah Yung and Ah Kong are among 13 Protestant house church members who have been arrested in the southern province of Guangdong since the weekend, according to the Sydney office of Voice of the Martyrs (VOM).
17 May 2000 (Newsroom) — Two colleagues of prominent Chinese evangelist Li Dexian have been sentenced to 15 days in prison, an Australian-based monitoring group reported. Ah Yung and Ah Kong are among 13 Protestant house church members who have been arrested in the southern province of Guangdong since the weekend, according to the Sydney office of Voice of the Martyrs (VOM).
Since October 1999 some 23 Christians have been killed in public by firing squads on falsified criminal charges in North Korea reports Open Doors, the ministry begun 45 years ago by Brother Andrew, the Dutch-born author of “God’s Smuggler.”
Five house church leaders from the “Born Again” movement of Xu Yongze were arrested at their homes in China’s southern Henan province on December 27, 1999. Each was sentenced in February to two years hard labor, according to reliable sources inside the province. Another full-time evangelist — not with the same movement — was arrested in Guiyang and also given two years hard labor. Relatives asked that the names of those sentenced be withheld.
Chinese house church leader Li Dexian was detained by police on Tuesday morning and released the same evening without harm. The Protestant evangelist was arrested by Public Security Bureau officers at his weekly 10 a.m. Bible study in Huadu near Guangzhou for the 11th time since October, a source in Hong Kong told Newsroom.
14 March 2000 (Newsroom) — Chinese house church leader Li Dexian was detained by police on Tuesday morning and released the same evening without harm. The Protestant evangelist was arrested by Public Security Bureau officers at his weekly 10 a.m. Bible study in Huadu near Guangzhou for the 11th time since October, a source in Hong Kong told Newsroom.
After a respite of one month, Chinese house church leader Li Dexian was detained by police on Tuesday for the 10th time since October. Public Security Bureau officers arrested the 45-year-old Protestant evangelist as he led his weekly 10 a.m. Bible study in Huadu, west of Guangzhou, a source in Hong Kong told Newsroom.
The sentencing of six Protestant house church leaders to hard labor last December and the arrest of six more leaders of the Roman Catholic underground church are but “the tip of the iceberg” of religious oppression, according to five prominent house church leaders inside China, contacted by Compass in January.
To observers of China’s Christian church scene the event was as sudden as it was unexpected. Just the day before the Chinese New Year celebrations of February 5, one of China’s most prominent house church leaders, Zhang Rongliang, was released quietly from prison in Fangcheng City, Henan Province, on grounds of poor health. The news was relayed quickly to journalists and China specialists outside of China by friends who had remained in close contact with Zhang for several weeks.