Pastor released in Wenzhou amidst further detentions

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Yan Xiaojie in an undated photo.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Translated by Carolyn Song. Written and edited in English by Ava Collins.

(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—Feb. 23, 2016) On Feb. 2, authorities released a Zhejiang pastor who opposed cross demolitions after he served five months in criminal detention. Additionally, Wenzhou officials threatened to demolish another church’s cross.

Public security bureau officials originally apprehended Pastor Yan Xiaojie on Aug. 26, 2015 after he forwarded text messages containing prayer requests over the Chinese messaging application WeChat. Originally given an eight-day administrative detention, he was placed under criminal detention on Sept. 3, 2015, under suspicion of “gathering a mob to disturb social order.”

Following Yan’s release, there are eight Christians currently detained in Zhejiang, listed in order of detention date below:

1. Gu “Joseph” Yuese, pastor of Chongyi Church. Criminally detained since Jan. 29 and arrested on Feb. 6.
2. Li Guanzhong, elder of Puyang Christian Church. Criminally detained since Jan. 29.
3. Zhang Shuzhen, wife of Li Guanzhong. Criminally detained since Jan. 29.
4. Zhang Chongzhu, pastor of Pyongyang TSPM Christian Church. Detained in black jail since Sept. 8, 2015.
5. Zhang Kai, human rights lawyer. Detained in black jail since Aug. 25, 2015.
6. Bao Guohua, senior pastor of Jinhua Christian Church. Detained since July 26, 2015.
7. Xing Wenxiang, wife of Bao Guohua. Detained since July 26, 2015.
8. Bao Chenxing, church deacon and son of Bao Guohua. Detained since July 26, 2015.

Additionally, Haicheng Christian Gathering in Wenzhou received a demolition notice for their cross on Feb. 2. The church’s electricity and water have also been cut off.

China Aid reports on human rights abuses, including the detention of dissidents who speak against the government, in an effort to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.

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