Fears Grow That China Will Class House Churches as Cults

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

High Profile Prisoner Released, but Others Arrested in China

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.