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On 26th anniversary of June 4 crackdown, three prominent Chinese Christian leaders in southwestern China taken into police custody

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wang Yi
China Aid

(Chengdu, Sichuan–June 11, 2015) On the 26th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown on the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement, three prominent house church leaders were taken into police custody.

All three were released in the evening of June 4, according to Qiao Nong, China Aid’s special correspondent in Hong Kong.

The three were Wang Yi, pastor of the Autumn Rain Church in Chengdu, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, Li Yingqiang and Zhang Guoqing. Wang was summoned by police for questioning. The two others who were taken away by police “to drink tea” — a euphemism for being summoned by some police or government official for questioning.

Pastor Zhang Minxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, said that the fact that the police took people away on the anniversary of June 4 shows that the government remains very nervous about that day.

This “shows that, more than 20 years later, the problems of June 4 still exist, the state and the people are still in conflict,” Zhang said, adding that every year on the anniversary of June 4, “sensitive people” who had taken part in the 1989 protests are rounded up, some are even sent into mental hospitals while others are threatened or invited to “drink tea.”

“This means, don’t take part in such activities,” Zhang said. “Every year, there are incidents of persecution related to June 4.”

On Dec. 1 2014, Wang Yi was warned by Chengdu police not to leave his home. When he refused to follow the police order, police took him into custody without producing any legal documentation. Informed sources said the police action was related to his church's anti-abortion stand.

Also last week, Beijing house church pastor Liu Fenggang arrived in the United States.

“After I arrived in America, officers from the local police station brought along four police from the Public Security Bureau to look for me at my mother-in-law’s house,” Liu said, adding that he fled the country because he’d been notified by his local police station on May 26 that he was going to be put under house arrest.

He said that “every year on June 4, I’ll be put under house arrest. We will always commemorate this date.”

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