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10 Jiangsu worshippers administratively detained for 'illegal gathering'

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Police frequently raid Christian gatherings
such as this one in Nanle County, Henan.
(Photo: China Aid) 
China Aid
By Rachel Ritchie

(Suqian, Jiangsu–March 24, 2015) Ten members of the Total Scope Church in China’s coastal Jiangsu were administratively detained on March 12 for 5-12 days for holding an “illegal gathering.”

Following their release, the group of worshippers asked the pastor of a local house church to help them contact a lawyer. Pastor Zhang Fangliang contacted Lei Zhifeng, from Changsha, Hunan, asking the lawyer to file an administrative lawsuit against the Siyang County Public Security Bureau for the 10 worshippers, Wang Denglan, Zhu Zhanmei, Tang Aiqiao, Fu Chenghua, Cao Yumei, Wang Jinglian, Zhu Qiaorong, Zhuang Chonglan, Zhuang Ronghua, and Zhuang Chongmei.

“A person called me, asking to hire me,” Lei said. “Later, I called him back but couldn’t get through. The only information I have is that 10 people were held in a public security bureau in Siyang County, Suqian.”

An officer from the Liren Police Station in Siyang County told China Aid that the detainees served a seven-day sentence and were released on March 19.

“They are [cultists],” the officer said in a phone call with China Aid on March 20. “When they gathered together, they were kneeling on the floor crying. They were mumbling something. This church is an illegal organization. During their worship services, they cry and shout.”

Pastor Zhang, who helped the worshippers reach out for legal assistance said that police confiscated the group’s materials, which said “they belong to the Total Scope Church.” Authorities consider the group to be a cult.

“The worshippers have yet to figure out for themselves that their religion is not a cult,” Zhang said. “A family member is usually their teacher, and they all say they believe in the Lord.”

“When the police arrest people, they always do so in the name of cracking down on a cult,” Chinese House Church Alliance President Zhang Mingxuan said. “If they don’t claim the group is a cult, it would mean they illegally detained people. When they persecute churches, they use this reason or try to come up with another excuse.”

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