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Sisters detained in continuing persecution against Guizhou church



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Officers detain members of the Daguan
House Church in a raid on May 24.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Reported and written in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Edited in English by Ava Collins.

(Daguan, Guizhou—Oct. 28, 2015) Police in China’s inland Guizhou province detained three house church members in mid-October, all sisters, as authorities increased persecution and restricting communication with the outside world.

Daguan House Church came under pressure from authorities after two raids on May 24 and June 7. The May raid was carried out by dozens heavily armed anti-riot police who released attack dogs on members of the church during service and closed down the meeting place. The raid in June took place during a church gathering in the home of Xu Guoqing, when three officers climbed over the building’s wall while two others waited outside to catch those who attempted to leave. Twelve people were administratively detained and eight were criminally detained for “unlawful assembly and organizing cult activities.”

The eight criminal detainees were held in separate detention centers, some serving out the length of their sentences before being released. On Sept. 1, three of the remaining criminal detainees, Dai Xiaoqiang, Kang Chengju, and Xu Guoqing were officially arrested by the Qianxi County Procuratorate for “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement.” They have been unable to speak with their families or hire lawyers during their time in custody.

The three women detained last week, Xu Guoying, Xu Guoyan and Xu Guoqiong, are the sisters of Xu Guoqing, the man who hosted the gathering raided in June. All three were previously detained in June, then later released. Xu Guoying and Xu Guoqiong both served 25 days administrative detention, while Xu Guoyan served between seven and 15 days and was released on June 24.

A Daguan police officer confirmed over the phone that three women had been detained but could not give further details regarding their location or whether the detention was criminal or administrative. Church members attempted to hire legal representation to dispute the unlawful punishments, but members of the public security bureau prohibited contact with lawyers.

On June 18, Yang Hua, a Guiyang pastor, tried to bring a group of nine lawyers to Daguan to help sort through the church’s case, including Zhang Kai, a Beijing based human rights lawyer who has since been detained himself. The group was set upon by a group of more than 100 people, believed to have been mobilized by a special police unit, who faked a motorcycle collision and surrounded the group’s vehicle. Fearing for their lives, the group eventually abandoned their vehicle and sought refuge at the local police station.

Daguan House Church, which was established 13 years ago, had a membership of approximately 300 people and a weekly attendance of 70-80. According to an anonymous church member on Oct. 22, the public security bureau has been monitoring the church and its members extremely closely, keeping them in near isolation.


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