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Court charges house church members with 'divulging state secrets'

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Officials raid Huoshi Church.
(Photo: China Aid))
China Aid
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song.

(Guiyang, Guizhou—Nov. 9, 2016) Two house church attendees charged with “divulging state secrets” stood trial in mid-October and are currently awaiting sentencing after forwarding a picture of a document detailing plans to persecute a house church in China’s central Guizhou province.

On Oct. 17, Wang Yao, a member of Huoshi Church, appeared before court in a secretive location on the charge of “divulging state secrets.” Two days later, Tu Yulei, a man who attended the church, was convicted of the same crime. Their accusations came from the authorities and referred to a picture of a confidential document describing official plans to eradicate Huoshi Church. Tu posted the document online, and both he and Wang allegedly forwarded it to overseas contacts.

Their judges will announce their sentencing at the proper time.

A trusted Christian told a China Aid reporter that Tu and Wang’s families were not allowed to attend. Only lawyers appeared in court. According to Christians, lawyers argued that the confidential document was only a notice issued by an interim body and couldn’t be called a "state secret document.” A lawyer said, according to the provisions of the criminal law, more than two documents were needed to constitute the charge. Moreover, the so-called confidential document was from a temporary government institution that was established with the sole purpose of destroying the church. The lawyers claimed that this institution was illegal, and that the document involved in the case was not a state secrets.

China Aid exposes abuses, such as those enacted against Huoshi Church members, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom in China.


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