Chinese Public Security Bureau Close school with mass arrests in Anhui province; Government crack down on independent House Church Movement intensified
China Aid Association (03/01/06)
To read the original press release, click here: Police Close School with Mass Arrests, and government cracks down on independent house church movement
CAA learned that at 10am on March 1st, 2006 (Beijing Time) in Huaibei City , Anhui Province, a House Church Bible School was raided by officers of the Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB). Approximately thirty-six House Church leaders, students and the students teachers were taken into custody. Four of the House Church leaders were able to escape the PSB raid.
According to two eyewitnesses approximately fifty to sixty Chinese police, anti-riot squads, and plain-clothes police, supported by more than ten police and anti-riot vehicles surrounded the school. Chinese police forces were armed with electric shock batons. The school facility was overrun by the PSB forces with all present being illegally taken into custody. The facility served as bible school and as a sewing school with the students learning trade skills and receiving bible training. The owner of the school is Pastor Chu Huaiting is a well known house church leader who currently serves as Vice-President of the Chinese House Church Alliance. The Chinese House Church Alliance was established in 2004 and is made up of approximately three hundred thousand members coming from various house church movements scattered across twenty-one provinces. Those who have been arrested in the Huaibei City Raid were from several parts of China including the Anhui Province , Beijing City , Jiangsu Province, the Inner Mongolia region, the Hunan Province , the Zhejiang Province and Shandong Province . When the PSB forces attempted to video tape the school Pastor Chu demanded that the PSB forces show their identification papers and produce the necessary search warrants. These requests were refused and no search warrants were available. In the midst of the police intrusions a member of the school attempted to call the emergency hotline. The officer receiving the emergency hotline call stated that the police action was a joint effort to crack down on illegal religious activities and such efforts were under the direction of provincial leaders. Eyewitnesses to the raid and the following arrests were able to identify the license registration of one of the police vehicles as WAN F2020. At approximately 1:00 pm on March 1st, (Beijing Time) during the writing of this press release, PSB forces returned to Pastor Chus house and arrested him. CAA has also learned that during the Huaibei City raid approximately ten thousand copies of Christian literature and two hundred new blankets were confiscated as these supplies and literature were being delivered to Pastor Chus house.
Names of those arrested include Pastor Liu Haiting, Pastor Liang Zhenjun and Pastor Joseph Wang. Names of the additional arrested individuals are not available at this time.
In recent months almost the entire leadership of the Chinese House Church Alliance from different provinces across China have been either illegally questioned or detained by Public Security Bureau forces. Pastor Chu was previously arrested and detained by PSB forces for nine hours on February 26th. This arrest and detention occurred when Pastor Chu was preaching in a house church in the Jiangsu Province .
These illegal mass arrests and detentions is a very disturbing indication of the deteriorating condition of religious freedom and civil liberties in China , said Bob Fu of CAA. We demand that the Chinese government honor their international obligations to respect and protect the religious freedoms and civil liberties of the Chinese citizens. CAA called for immediate release of these innocent Christian students and leaders.