Wenzhou pastor detained for ‘endangering national security’

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Huang Yizi
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Reported and written in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Written in English by Ava Collins.

(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—Sept. 24, 2015) Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang informed the wife of Huang Yizi, a local pastor, that he had been put under criminal detention for “endangering national security” but would not reveal where he was being held.

Huang, who was released from prison after a year-long sentence on Aug. 1, was detained again on Sept. 12. Huang’s wife, surnamed Lin, was told by authorities on Sept. 14 that the official notice of his detention had been sent out and that she should wait for it at home. As of Sept. 22, she said she had not received the notice.

Lin visited the Wenzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau with a lawyer and was told that Huang had been placed in criminal detention for “endangering national security,” though authorities refused to clarify the charge further. Thus far, Huang’s place of detention has not been released, as officers stated he was still under investigation and this was “inconvenient” information to give.

“It has only been 42 days since August 1,” Lin told China Aid’s reporter Qiao Nong. “How could my husband be so skilled and capable that he would be able to endanger national security after only a month?”

Huang is only one of many individuals detained after protesting China’s increasingly stringent religious restrictions, both in Wenzhou and other parts of China. Chen Chaohua, a teaching pastor with China Christian Evangelic Mission was detained in late August and held for 24 hours, but he has since been detained again. A deacon named Zhang Zhi is also missing, as with the other cases, family members have not been officially notified. Most family members have been told, as Lin was, that the detention notices have been sent and that they should wait for them at home. When pressed for tracking numbers, authorities refused to provide them.

In Anhui, the province directly northwest of Zhejiang, Qiaotou Church’s pastor, Lü Jiangyang was placed in custody on Sept. 20 in connection with a July raid on a summer camp for students hosted by the church.

Also on Sept. 20, Mengyue Church was raided by religious affairs bureau officers and local police in Anshun, Guizhou. A high-ranking official read a notice, stating that the church must stop all religious activities. Pastors from the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement were also brought in to speak with the group and push them to join a Three-Self church.

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