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Shenzhen authorities block pro-democracy activist from attending Bible study

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Guo Yongfeng
China Aid Association
By Rachel Ritchie

(Shenzhen, Guangdong—Nov. 26, 2014) Authorities in the southern Chinese province Guangdong prevented a man involved in pro-democracy movements from attending a Bible study on Nov. 14, continuing a series of persecution that began when he became politically active.

Guo Yongfeng, who founded the Association of Chinese Citizens for Monitoring the Government, received a notice from Zhang Qiang, who leads the Shenzhen-based church Guo has been attending for the past year, which said Guo could no longer go to the church. When contacted, Zhang told China Aid that police said to call them immediately should Guo show up at the church again.

“For the past year, I’ve been going to this church, and nothing happened,” Guo said. “Recently, the Domestic Security Protection Squad wants to prevent me from going to church.

“On Nov. 10, an undercover cyber-policeman asked me which church I go to. I said that we could go there together and chat for a while. After I went there on the same day, the police called me and asked if I was engaging in illegal activities. Since we didn’t have a good connection, I didn’t say much and hung up the phone,” Guo said.

Zhang later contacted Guo to tell him that police had approached him to warn him not to let Guo attend. “Since they said so, [Zhang and I] didn’t plan [for me] to go there for the sake of the church's safety. I don’t want to bring disasters to the church.”

Another incident occurred at the church, which frequently hosts American pastors, two months ago. “After I finished the gathering and left, more than 20 [police officers] came and wanted to speak to the person in charge. This frightened [the church’s leaders]. One of the church members was so frightened, he collapsed. Zhang Qiang told me about this incident,” Guo said.

“Before, I went to a church in the New Reservoir Village of Shenzhen where we were harassed. The church had to move several times and didn't have a fixed venue. Each time I went there, they had to move so I stopped going there altogether,” he said.

Guo established the Federation of the Chinese Democratic Progressive and founded 19 branches in various provinces. He also founded and edited the “Federation Weekly.” After trying to legitimize the Association of Chinese Citizens for Monitoring the Government in April 2008, the group was labeled and illegal organization. A year later, Guo was sentenced to 21 months in a labor camp.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Contact
Tel: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org | www.monitorchina.org