Xinjiang House Church Seeking Legal Action Against Local Police for Earlier Persecution is Targeted Again; Police Detain 17 Believers, Confiscate Church Books

Sunday, July 22, 2012

China Aid Association
(Hotan, Xinjiang—July 22, 2012) A house church in far Western China’s region of Xinjiang that has taken legal action against local police for earlier persecution has been targeted again by local police, who detained 17 believers on Sunday and confiscated church books.

In April and May, the Hotan house church sought legal help from a Christian lawyer and filed for an administrative review for taking its church leader, Zhong Shuguang into custody in March and holding him for 15 days.They seemed to be making progress, but now the church has been targeted for a series of retaliatory actions by the local police.

On July 22, Zhong and his wife were among 17 believers who were taken into custody by police, who also confiscated the church’s books. They were all released the same day.

In early July, Domestic Security Protection agents illegally entered the house of Zhong on the pretext of investigating an illegal meeting and took its projector, computer and other computer-related items.

Last week, Beijing lawyer Zhang Kai, a Christian who has handled multiple church persecution cases, arrived in Hotan as the church’s legal representative in handling the administrative review request. The local authorities put up various kinds of obstacles, but finally agreed to give an answer in five days as to whether the request would be granted. Just after Zhang Kai left, the retaliatory action began.

ChinaAid strongly condemns the Hotan authorities for disregarding the law, willfully trampling on the right to religious freedom of its citizens, and trying to creating another “Alimujiang case” by purposely provoking and exacerbating Xinjiang’s social conflicts. Therefore, we call on the Xinjiang and Hotan authorities to abide by the constitution and China's laws, as well as the commitments the central government has made both domestically and internationally to protect citizens’ right to religious freedom, and to immediately return the items that were confiscated from the church and stop the illegal interference and attacks on the church and Zhong and the other believers.

See our earlier reports about this case:

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985