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Forum18 – The role of Chinese local authorities in religious freedom violations is often documented. On 2 August 2005, local public security officials in the province of Hubei raided a fellowship of 41 Protestant house church pastors and members, which included two American seminarians, in a private house. The China Aid Association reported that the two Americans were released after seven hours of interrogation, while the 41 Chinese Christians were briefly imprisoned and some were beaten by prison officials…On 25 July, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reported, police in Fujian province raided the home of Father Lin Daixian, a priest of the underground Catholic Church loyal to the Vatican, where he was celebrating Mass. Police ransacked his home and detained him. Also arrested were a seminarian and nine parishioners. Several of those present were beaten and injured in the violent raid, before the priest and his companions were taken to a local prison. Other than the obvious fact that all these incidents were religious freedom violations, the common factor is that local authorities were the primary culprits. Indeed, it is by now conventional wisdom that significant regional variations characterise the pattern of religious freedom violations. Although this conventional wisdom is not supported by any data produced by systematic surveys, anecdotal evidence generally supports this observation. For example, in Henan and Hebei provinces – where unregistered Christian communities, both Protestant and Catholic, proliferate – countless attacks by local authorities against members of these communities have been recorded. It is also common knowledge that the Shanghai municipality has the strictest regulations on religious affairs and one of the most active governmental enforcement of these regulations in all of China . Yet similar reports of state repression have not surfaced in other parts of the country. Moreover, the patterns of religious freedom violations even lack uniformity within the provinces mentioned above…[