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Henan: Government threatens to auction detained pastor's home, leaving family homeless

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Zhang Weiqiang, Pastor Zhang Shaojie’s father, stands in front
of the family’s home. The public notice stating that they will
be forced from their home can be seen on the door. (Photo
courtesy of the Zhang family)
China Aid Association

(Nanle County, Henan—Oct. 28, 2014) When Nanle County Christian Church pastor, Zhang Shaojie, was sentenced for his fabricated crimes of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” and fraud, he was ordered to pay a fine of 700,000 yuan (US $114,000) in addition to serving 12 years in prison. Thursday night, the Nanle County government issued a public notice stating that, because of Zhang’s failure to pay the fine, his home would be auctioned off, leaving his family homeless.

Zhang’s family, including his 80-year-old father, Zhang Wenqiang, 78-year-old mother, disabled wife, youngest daughter, and son-in-law, who is a Malaysian citizen, wasn’t informed of their impending homelessness until Friday morning when they left their home to attend a worship service. Buildings throughout their village were plastered with the public notice, translated below, which stated that the family must move out by Sunday, Oct. 26.

Family members told China Aid that Zhang Shaojie has been repeatedly pressured by prison officials to admit his guilt and call off any petitioning his family may do on his part. The family believes that officials may be using the threat of selling his family’s home to get Zhang Shaojie to confess his guilt.

As of today, the government has done nothing more than drive by the home. Zhang “Shanshan” Lingxin, the pastor’s youngest daughter, told China Aid that two cars from the Nanle County People’s Court showed up in front of the house around 11 a.m., but immediately left. Should the government make good on their promise, the family will be left without funds to secure new living arrangements.

Zhang Wenqiang told China Aid that government officials have been pressuring his family, as well as other local believers, to “give up Jesus” in exchange for physical freedom, presumably the freedom of Zhang Shaojie and other detained Christians, which include his sister Zhang Cuijuan. Zhang Weiqiang also said that the government has hired “thugs” to stand on street corners everyday to ensure believers can’t meet in the church.

Meanwhile, local authorities have expressed a desire to shutdown an orphanage run by the Three-Self church. “The children of the orphanage have also been threatened by the government employees,” Zhang Shanshan said. “However, the children have already stayed [at the orphanage] for many years, and they would have no place to go after they are driven out. Given this, the authorities turn a blind eye to this problem. However, they have warned the children that they must not sing the songs of the church, must not say grace before meals, and must not attend any religious activities.” According to Zhang Shanshan, there are “seven or eight” children at the orphanage.

Public Notice


Nanle County People’s Court of Henan Province

(2014) Nan Zhi Zi Di No. 578

The criminal verdict, coded (2014) Nan Xing Chu Zi Di No. 13, issued by this court in accordance with law, which orders Zhang Shaojie to return RMB 700,000 yuan that he gained illegally, is already legally valid. After this court placed the case on file and executed it on September 26, 2014, it sent out the notice of execution to the person who should execute it on September 29, 2014. However, Zhang Shaojie, the person who is supposed to execute it, has failed to implement this obligation within the time allowed for him. In accordance with law, this court will conduct an appraisal and auction of the housing unit, which is owned by Zhang Shaojie and which is located at Household No. 6, Luxi, Row 12, Nanjie Xincun, Chengguan Township of Nanle County. Pursuant to Article 250 of the Civil Procedural Law of the People’s Republic of China. It is hereby ordered that the person who is supposed to execute the notice and his family must move out of the housing unit by October 26, 2014. Should they fail to do so by the due date, this court will execute it through compulsory means in accordance with law.

Hence this public notice.

Ma Hongbin (seal)
President of the Court
October 23, 2014

ChinaAid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Contact
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