Chinese Christian Writers Returned to China Safely after Meeting with US President Bush; House Church Leaders Arrested in Beijing and Shanghai
CAA learned after a high profile meeting with US President George W. Bush at the White House last week, two of the three Chinese House Church Christians, Mr. Yu Jie and Wang Yi, arrived safely at Beijing airport at 5 pm (Beijing Time) May 18. According to Yu Jie, the US Embassy sent an official, Mr. Eric Richardson, to meet with them in the airport. A reliable source told CAA that an official from the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) also went to the airport to observe. About 8 to 9 international news/TV reporters along with some Chinese security officers also waited and photographed them.
Mr. Yu Jie was picked up at the airport by his wife, Liu Min; his church coworker, Bei Cun and several church members. Reportedly the Chinese central government was very furious about the White House meeting between US President Bush and the three Chinese House church believers. The White House cautioned the Chinese highest authority to handle the return of the three individuals carefully.
Sources say Yu Jies wife, Liu Min, was recently interrogated by Chinese security agents to stop attending Beijing Church of Ark which was founded by the couple. It was also suggested by the security agent that she divorce Yu Jie. If she didnt comply the security agents threatened to pressure her employer, a US Company in Beijing , to fire her and to damage her reputation by exposing her private life stories. Yu Jie and his church coworker renowned author Mr. Bei Cun will travel to Berlin to attend the annual conference by International PEN in two days.
Meanwhile, CAA learned on May 16 and 18; three Chinese House Church leaders were arrested in Shanhai and Beijing respectively. At 3pm on May 16, in Minhang District, Shanghai City , ten PSB officers with two police vehicles raided a House church Bible study meeting at the home of a believer named Ms. FAN Jinlin. Two church leaders Pastor Zhang Guangming from Henan and Pastor YE Shengchong from Zhejiang were detained. One of them is still being held. Prior to that raid, on May 12, the Chenhang House Church at Pujiang Town , Minhang District, Shanghai was disrupted and ordered to close their gathering by the Shanghai authority.
In Beijing , at 1:25 pm, May 18, a well-known Chinese House Church leader Pastor Chu Wei from Anhui Province was arrested. According to reliable sources, three plain clothed Security agents from the PSB of Beijing, who refused to show their ID, took Pastor Chu who was at a seafood market in Sidaokou region, Haidian District to Dazhongsi PSB office at Haidian District. Pastor Chu had just finished a meeting with a well-known Chinese Constitutional law scholar Mr. Chen Yongmiao before his arrest. Officer Shi told Pastor Chu that the action (arrest) was taken because of a joint request from the Provincial Public Security departments of Henan and Anhui Provinces . Pastor Chu came to Beijing to seek legal counsel to help a persecuted church whose case took place on March 13 in Wen County , Henan Province. After 4 hours of interrogation, Pastor Chu was released.