Christians sue government after being sentenced to criminal detention for conducting Bible-based lessons for children

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lou Nannan and Zhang Hong'En were
administratively detained at the
Huocheng Public Security Bureau,
pictured above.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated and written in English by Brynne Lawrence.

(Huocheng County, Xinjiang—Dec. 24, 2015) Two Christians in China’s western Xinjiang were sentenced to 11 days’ detention after they conducted Bible-based, character-building lessons for children and taught them games, which authorities termed “organizing, instigating, coercing, inducing or inciting another person to engage in activities of cults … or making use of cults … to disturb social order…”

After being taken into police custody on April 11, the defendants, Lou Nannan and Zhang Hong’En, decided to file an administrative reconsideration lawsuit against the public security bureau in an attempt to overturn their sentences, but the authorities upheld the original verdict. In response, the defendants filed a second lawsuit with the local court. The court was scheduled to hear the case on Dec. 2. China Aid has yet to receive news regarding their final decision.

Lou and Zhang completed their sentences and were released on April 23, 2015.

In Xinjiang, local law forbids parents from providing any form of religious education to young children. Li Dunyong, a lawyer from Beijing, told a China Aid reporter on Nov. 26 that he believes Lou and Zhang have not broken the law: “The law enforcement has no factual bases [for detaining the defendants]. Just because they, the appellants, were telling the children Bible stories [does not mean they] were preaching. If you think [about it], children that small—ages 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9—simply can’t understand the Bible. How can you explain the Bible to children?”

Li also said that “… [the police’s] procedures violated the law.”

Lou Nannan’s father, Lou Yuanqi, reported that his daughter recently applied for passes that would allow her and Zhang Hong’En to travel to Hong Kong and Macau, but they were denied.

China Aid seeks to expose religious freedom abuses such as those experienced by Lou Nannan and Zhang Hong‘En.

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Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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