(Zuozhuang Village, Shandong -- April 17, 2011) In a weekend of escalating tensions, local authorities in a village in coastal Shandong province on Sunday surrounded a house church and detained five leading members, in addition to the pastor and lay leader they had already detained on Saturday, according to ChinaAid sources.
ChinaAid is keeping close tabs on what happens with the Subu Church in Zuozhuang Village, Fengcheng District, Zaozhuang city. Since last December, persecution of house churches by various local government has increased and intensified, a trend that is certainly worrying.
The Subu Church events occurred after the church was visited by Pastor Zhang Mingxuan and his wife, and Pastor Shi Enjie. Pastor Zhang is head of the Chinese House Church Alliance.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, local police and officials from the township government detained one of the church's lay leaders, Ms. Zhang Guangxia, and at 8 p.m. the pastor, Zhang Qingan, also was detained.
At 8 a.m. Sunday morning, local police surrounded the church. By Sunday afternoon, five other Christians had also been detained, including one man, Zhang Jili, and four women. Only the full names of two women were given: Cui Baoying and Han Jian.
Furthermore, officials of the United Front Work Committee had also become involved.
In a related incident happened in Cangshan county of Shandong, a driver who is a Christian has also been detained and his car seized because he had been the driver for Pastor Zhang during his visit and Pastor Zhang had ridden in that particular car. Detained with him was a leader of the Jesus House Church, Ms. Li Fuying. Their "crime" was that they had been the hosts for Pastor Zhang's visit.
Ms. Zhang Guangxia's cell phone number is: 135-632-91496
Pastor Zhang Qing'an's cell phone number is: 182-652-3328
Rachel Sparkman, Media Coordinator
Tel: (888) 889-7757, or Rachel@ChinaAid.org
Mark Shan, CAA Spokesperson
Tel: (267) 205-5210, or Mark@ChinaAid.org
Website: www.ChinaAid.org and www.MonitorChina.org