ICC Note: The following article must be read with caution, as it was published by the "hyper-nationalistic" Chinese tabloid Global Times, which has been known to regularly take a strong stance against all things connected to "Western" influence. In the article, the authors report Chinese police saying that a recent house church they raided is connected with the Chinese House Church Alliance, an organization banned in China because it was supposedly backed by "hostile forces" in the US. This is just one of many excuses used by Chinese authorities to regularly persecute house church Christians across China.
08/17/2012 China (Global Times) - Police in Langzhong, Sichuan Province Thursday said that they raided an unauthorized home church in late May because of its connections to a banned US-based Christian group.
The home church denies links to the US organization and plans to sue the local public security bureau next week.
The home church was founded at the residence of Xie Deyue, a 43-year-old farmer in Zhanggongqiao village, Langzhong in September 2011. Every Sunday, about 50 Christians gather for bible readings and to sing hymns, according to a US-based human rights group, ChinaAid Association.
An officer from a police station in Qilijie, Langzhong, who refused to give his name, told the Global Times that the church was banned at the end of May because it was never issued an official permit.
The officer also said the church has connections with the Chinese House Church Alliance (CHCA), which was banned by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2008 because it was determined to be backed by "hostile forces" in the US.
Xie denied the church is connected to the CHCA. Li Ming, the church's pastor, said the CHCA had contacted his church, but they have never accepted financial aid from the CHCA. Li said all church expenses are paid for by church members.
Li Dunyong, a Beijing-based lawyer, helped Xie draft a request for an administrative review in June, seeking the right to hold services, the return of confiscated facilities and overturning a 200 yuan ($31.42) fine levied against its pastor, ChinaAid said. The authorities rejected the request prompting the church to sue, Li told the Global Times.