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Lawyer releases open letter to Guizhou governor for Zhejiang Christian detained in Guizhou

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Xihu District Ethnic and Religious
Affairs Bureau of Hangzhou stamped a
fact sheet confirming that Dai
Xiaoqiang and Yuanpu Church are not
involved with cults.
(Photo: Zhuang Daohe)
China Aid
By Rachel Ritchie

(Daguan, Guizhou—July 16, 2015) Following the criminal detention of eight Christians related to the recently persecuted Daguan House Church in China’s inland Guizhou province, detainee Dai Xiaoqiang’s family agreed to allow Zhuang Daohe, a human rights lawyer, legal scholar and Christian, to release a letter, below, which he wrote to Guizhou’s governor, Chen Min’er. Zhuang also attached a fact sheet containing confirmation by two Hangzhou government agencies that Dai Xiaoqiang’s home church in coastal Zhejiang province is not a cult.

It was through the letter that China Aid learned that Dai Xiaoqiang is not a member of the Daguan House Church, as was previously reported. Dai Xiaoqiang, a member of Yuanpu Family Church in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, was visiting a friend and fellow Christian in Guizhou province.

Lawyers Zhuang Doahe and Zhang Kai were unsuccessful in attempts to meet with their clients on Saturday.

China Aid provides financial support through its Legal Defense Fund to human rights lawyers in cases such as this, who often defend persecuted Christians pro bono and with much personal risk.

Letter from Zhuang Daohe to Chen Min’er

Dear Governor Chen Min’er:

Hello!

I am Zhuang Daohe, a legal scholar from Zhejiang University, a member of the China Zhi Gong Party, and a Christian human rights lawyer. I will now report the case of Hangzhou resident and Christian Dai Xiaoqiang’s improper arrest in Qianxi County, in the city of Bijie, Guizhou province to you. Please pay attention to this case and deal with it properly.

Dai Xiaoqiang is an employee at the Xihu Scenic Garden in Hangzhou and a staff member of Yuanpu Family Church. Yuanpu Family Church dates back to before the Cultural Revolution, after which, they restored their activities in 1981, giving the church a history of more than half a century. All the church members are faithful, resisting cults, gathering openly, practicing charity, and have a good reputation locally. Because of this, on June 10, 2015, a fact sheet was issued by the Xihu District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau for Yuanpu Church and Dai Xiaoqiang.


Zhuang Daohe wrote an open letter
to Guizhou province’s governor.
(Photo; Zhuang Daohe)
Xu Guotao and Kang Chengju, residents of Qianxi County, in the city of Bijie, met Dai when they worked in Hangzhou and the three went to church gatherings together. Both Xu Guotao and Kang Chengju’s parents have Christian backgrounds and provide the only Christian gathering spots in Daguan, Qianxi County. Qianxi is an underdeveloped area; Christians from developed areas in Hangzhou sometimes go there to perform poverty alleviation activities, donate clothes and help the sick and elderly. On June 8, Dai Xiaoqiang was arrested by Qianxi County police at the Guiyang airport when he went to visit Xu Guotao. Guizhou police reasoned that Dai Xiaoqiang was arrested for “organizing and using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement.” Now that he has completed his detention, the local police are asking the Procuratorate to have him formally arrested.

The Yuanpu Family Church has never been suppressed under your leadership in Zhejiang. The objective fact sheet from the Xihu District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau completely denies the accusations against Yuanpu Family Church and Dai Xiaoqiang. Dai Xiaoqiang is a law-abiding citizen, an employee at government institutions, and he and Yuanpu Family Church have nothing to do with cults. In Zhejiang, he is considered a good man, but, in Qianxi County, he is a captured member of a suspected cult. Such logic is not very reliable and subverts common sense. The impoverished Qianxi County in the city of Bijie, home to frequent tragedy, actively suppresses religious belief and spiritual hope, which is not a wise choice.

I, as a fellow Christian of Dai Xiaoqiang and a legal scholar, feel that this issue may negatively impact the public image and investment climate in your province, hereby report to you regarding the situation. Please kindly consider the situation and issue an order for Dai Xiaoqiang’s release as soon as possible. And with permission from Dai Xiaoqiang’s family, I demand that the Qianxi County police release Dai Xiaoqiang in a timely manner, allowing him go back to Hangzhou as soon as possible. Time is critical; Dai Xiaoqiangs’s released can’t be delayed any longer because his employer keeps daily attendance records. Governor Chen, please make a wise decision and understand the family’s feelings!

Sincerely,

(Zhejiang University) Zhuang Daohe

July 12, 2015


Fact Sheet included with letter to Chen Min’er

The meeting address of Yuanpu Family Church is at the home of Zhang Zhengyuan, located at 23 Wutong Lane, in the neighborhood of Bailian in Zhuantang Sub-District in Xihu District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.


Zhejiang government agencies
confirmed that Dai Xiaoqiang and
Yuanpu Family Church are not
involved with cults.
(Photo: Zhuang Daohe)
The church was founded before the Cultural Revolution, but was closed during the Cultural Revolution and restored later. The first meeting place was at the home of the villager Qian Weiliang and moved to Qian Weixin’s home in 1981, and then to Zhang Zhengyuan’s in 2005 to coordinate with the reconstruction and widening of Yuanpu Road.

The church has guided all its members to the teachings of pure Christianity since its inception, resolutely resisting the 14 cults prohibited by the government, such as Eastern Lightning, the Shouters and the Church of the Almighty God, reporting to the police in a timely manner when a cult was discovered, immediately expelling church members discovered to participate in cults and refusing to allow such church member back into meetings when pressured to do so.

The church has been caring for the sick and elderly, practicing charity, especially in the wake of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake when the church encouraged all church members to make donations, which were collected by Dai Xiaoqiang and sent to the Red Cross. The church often motivates church member to donate clothing and household items to poorer areas.

(Hangzhou’s Xihu District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau's stamp confirming facts to be true)

(Zhuantang Sub-District Government's stamp confirming facts to be true)



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


"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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