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Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

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Court Hears Lawsuit Against Police, Religious Affairs Officials in Inner Mongolia Persecution Case Against Student Fellowship Group

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

China Aid Association
(Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia—May 2, 2012) An administrative lawsuit brought against local police and religious affairs officials by a house church leader who was administratively detained for 15 days was heard in a court of the first instance last Friday, ChinaAid has learned.

The suit stemmed from a ban imposed last September by the local police and the Bureau of Minority and Religious Affairs of Ulanqab’s Jining district on the Mengfu (Blessed) Fellowship, a house church gathering for students. The authorities also put the fellowship’s leader, Liang Guangzhong, into administrative detention for 15 days for “illegal evangelism” and confiscated 2110 yuan (US$331) from the offering collection box, and an Acer notebook computer, a projector, a camera, a stereo system, and 17 videotapes.
See our earlier report at: http://www.chinaaid.org/2011/10/authorities-ban-christian-student.html

 Image2(Below: The court summons notifying brother Liang Guangzhong of the hearing)

Liang’s lawyer Liu Peifu, from the well-known Beijing Gongxin Law Firm, told the Jining District Court at the 9 a.m. hearing on Friday that:
1.    There was insufficient evidence for the administrative penalty imposed by the defendants 2.    The defendants acted in serious violation of the administrative enforcement procedures
a.    The defendants did not produce any law enforcement paperwork
b.     The defendants did not give the plaintiff copies of the transcripts of his statement or defense.
c.    The defendants did not inform the plaintiff of his right to appeal, of the procedures to lodge an appeal or the timeframe within which an appeal must be pursued.
3.    The evangelistic activities that the plaintiff and other Christians engaged in was legal and is an expression of freedom of religion a.    The religious activities that the plaintiff and other Christians engage in are the manifestation of the implementation of the religious freedom clauses of Article 36 of the Constitution and are fully in accordance with the Constitution.
b.    The religious activities that the plaintiff and other Christians engage are also fully in accordance with the basic principles of the national religious affairs policies.
c.    The religious activities that the plaintiff and other Christians engage are fully in accordance with the principles and the spirit of the international conventions and treaties to which China is a signatory.
d.    The clauses in the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” regarding registration are not necessarily a standard to determine the legality or not of religious activities. Image

(Right: the agreement to engage legal representation)

In his conclusion, lawyer Liu said the plaintiff’s actions did not constitute illegal evangelism. The decision by the defendants to impose administrative penalties was based on insufficient evidence; the law enforcement procedures were in violation of the law and constituted wrongful application of the law and is both illegal and invalid.  Therefore, he asked the court to uphold the plaintiff’s claim.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org