Wrongly charged Christians released on bail, pastor denied lawyer



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Li Wanhua (second from right) and Ruan Haonan (second
from left) were released on bail on July 13. (Photo: ChinaAid)
ChinaAid

(Jiangmen, Guangdong—July 19, 2017) Authorities in China’s southern Guangdong province released two wrongly charged Christians on one-year bail terms on Thursday.

After being held arbitrarily for a month on falsified cult charges, Li Wanhua, the pastor of Fengle Church, and a member of his congregation, Ruan Haonan, were allowed to return home on one-year bail periods.

The persecution began when officials banned “Mengai House,” which hosts Christian events affiliated with Fengle Church at Ruan’s home. Because of his role in “Mengai House,” authorities took Ruan into custody for “organizing and using an evil cult to sabotage law enforcement.” The next day, the police tried to coerce Ruan to sign a document stating he participated in cult activities. Ruan refused, and he was criminally detained.

On June 14, government personnel seized Li and criminally detained him on the same charge.

The same day, Domestic Security Protection Bureau interrogated Ruan and Li for five hours. At the end of the questioning, an official asked Li if he had any requests, and Li asked to be able to hire a lawyer. The official told him he was not permitted to hire a lawyer and said that an attorney would be provided by the government if necessary. Li pointed out that this was a violation of his rights to a lawyer, which Chinese law guarantees.

After detaining Li, authorities confiscated 12 of his copies of the Bible, 48 copies of the Psalms, and more than 1,000 posters.

During the year that Li and Ruan will be on bail, they are required to report every three months to the public security bureau and obtain permission before traveling.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Ruan and Li, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team
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