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(ANS) – Two human rights watchdogs appealed to China Tuesday, June 15, to release over 100 evangelical church leaders who they say were arrested last week after the Communist government issued a “secret directive” to launch a massive crackdown against religious groups and promote Atheism. Christian Solidarity Worldwide said it had joined China Aid Association (CAA) in urging the Chinese authorities to release the leaders of China Gospel Fellowship who were “arrested June 11” at Wuhan city, Hubei province, where that retreated together. CAA said it had also learned that in a separate incident China Gospel Fellowship Pastor Shen Xianfeng was put under house arrest at a residential area in Wuhan city after PSB officers “thoroughly searched a house where Mr. Shen was recovering from illness of his crippled legs.” CAA said it has learned from an internal source within Chinese Communist Party that the Politburo had recently convened in a special secret meeting discussing “how to deal with religious affairs in China ”. It quoted the source as saying “a secret directive was issued after the meeting calling every level of the Chinese government and the Party to crack down” against “illegal religious activities.” The directive also urged the Communist Party’s Department of Propaganda to carry out a special media campaign to promote atheism, CAA said.