Christians detained while submitting legal complaint



Monday, May 28, 2018

A group of Christians prays outside of
the public security bureau.
(Photo: ChinaAid)
ChinaAid

Updated at 4:42 p.m. on May 29, 2018.

(Chengdu, Sichuan—May 28, 2018) 12 Christians in China’s central Sichuan province were arrested this morning while attempting to file a legal complaint about the recent treatment of their church at the local public security bureau.

The group consisted of members of Early Rain Covenant Church, who have been targeted by the local authorities after holding a memorial service on May 12 to commemorate the 69,000 victims who lost their lives in an earthquake a decade ago. Police took more than 200 members of the church into custody that day, including theology student Song Enguang, who was struck 30 times on the face as an official examined his Bible knowledge.

At 9:15 a.m. China Standard Time, a group representing the church visited the Caojixiang Public Security Bureau to file a legal complaint about the recent abuse of their church and its members on May 11 and 12. The group included the church’s pastor Wang Yi, a minister named Li Yongqiang, a deacon named Tan Defu, several church members including Ding Dao-er, Ye Yin, and Zhang Qi, as well as a lawyer named Zhou Ying. Preacher An Yankui, and the church's director, Ge Yingfeng, were taken into custody along with 10 other church members. An officer bearing the badge number 008194 beat An, and those still gathered outside were ordered to disperse. When they refused, officials beat them as well.

Some of the Christians saw two of the arrested church members being brought into the restroom in handcuffs, where the police forcibly took off their glasses.

The officers claim that they are not formally detaining the Christians, but rather interrogating them.

When a ChinaAid reporter called the Caojiaxiang Police Station to investigate the matter, the person answering the phone told him they do not accept interviews. However, when Jiang Rong, Wang's wife, made an inquiry as to why the church members were arrested when they were only protesting their mistreatment, an officer responded, "It's your own wording. You don't have any evidence."

ChinaAid will continue to report on this story as further information develops as we seek to expose abuses suffered by Christians in order to promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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