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ICC Note: Here is a detailed account of the recent detention of several house church Christians and four house church leaders. There is an explanation of the legal attempts made to free these Christians and a description of common persecution in Langzhong. The legal attempts made have had no effect so far and persecution only seems to be increasing.

Persecuted House Church in Langzhong , Sichuan -LI Baiguang

China Aid (7/27/06) – Sunday, June 27, 2006, Christians of the house church in Langzhong , Sichuan Province were holding regular worship services at the home of Wang Shixiu, a Christian in Tianjiagou Village , Baoma Town , Langzhong City . On their way home following the meeting a police car, a small Chang’an microbus and three motorbikes blocked the Christians way. Fifteen plain clothed policemen forced eight Christians into the car without showing any identification and escorted them to the Public Security Office in Baoma Town for interrogation, including Gou Yongcai, Shi Shihe, Wang Suhua and Zhu Guizhen.

At 5 PM, having heard that house church Christians had been arrested, several preachers, and house church members, Li Ming, Jin Jirong, Wang Yuan and Li Hongbo went to the Public Security Office of Baoma Town to ask for an explanation – these Christians never came back and are still imprisoned.

Christians in the house church, including Li Chengxi, Sun Zhifen and Ke Yufang, went to the Public Security Office of Baoma Town to visit their sisters and brothers who were arrested. Having found that 66-year-old Jin Jirong’s feet were injured, they questioned the policeman. The Policeman required Sun Zhifang to call 120 to treat Jin, Sun did not follow, saying, “How can they be injured if you did not beat him?” For this the policeman detained Sun Zhifang and sent her to Langzhong Guardhouse for 5-day detention for: “Gathering to cause trouble in the Government of Baoma Town, interfering with the law.”

Ke Yufang, Jin Jirong’s aunt, asked the police, “Why did you beat Jin Jirong? He didn’t do anything wrong.” The police arrested Ke Yufang and put her into the police car. As she got on, a policeman slapped her face violently; she was unconscious until the next morning. The Police sent Ke Yufang to Langzhong Guardhouse, and gave her 7-days detention for: “assaulting a policeman and interfering with the performance of his duty.”

Li Chengxi was arrested and sent to Langzhong Guardhouse at 9:00 PM because of two statements, “Why do you arrest others? Why do you beat others?” They gave Li 10 days detention for: “assaulting a policeman and interfering with the performance of his duty.”

Wang Suhua, a Christian who was arrested on her way home the morning of June 27, and given 5-days detention for “participating in the meeting and preaching activities of “All-Ranking Church” Cult, recalled, “The morning of June 27, I went to Wu Village of Baoma Town to visit my aunt. On the way, I was arrested by plain clothed policemen and sent to the Public Security Office of Baoma Town. They did not show any identification when they arrested, abused, and threatened me during the interrogation, and even judged what I believed in to be a cult. I refused to accept their judgment. At my arraignment they confiscated my Bible without giving me detention list. June 28t they gave me the notice of 5-days detention for participating in cult activities. June 29, they arraigned me again, telling me to tell the truth, otherwise they would beat me to death; I would not admit that I was a cult member, the policemen forced me to sign and fingerprint a prepared record.”

II. Conference to Criticize House Church Leaders is Forced to Cancel

At the end of June 2006, the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong announced that they would hold a citywide Cultural-Revolutionary-style – thousand-man conference criticizing Li Ming, Wang Yuan, Li Mingbo and Jin Jirong, the leaders of the house church of Langzhong . At the conference, they would announce criminal detention, reeducation through labor or arrest against the four. I went to Langzhong from Beijing , in order to witness the “pomp.” The Christians of the house church of Langzhong also fully prepared for the conference, planning to record it. Maybe because overseas media revealed the persecution against local house churches in advance, the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong has yet to hold the conference. During the period in Langzhong, the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong announced that they would hold the conference on July 6; however, it was cancelled for unknown reasons.

Li Ming, Wang Yuan, Li Mingbo and Jin Jirong were arrested June 27, 2006, and at this writing on July 12, 2006, the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong still has not provide any legal procedures for the citizens or their relatives, but they are still imprisoned without any charge. In Langzhong of Sichuan, the birth place of Fuxi, the ancestor of China ’s agriculture, the police’s concept of law is as ancient as their ancestors. The phenomenon was verified when I went to the Legislative Affairs Office of the Municipal Government of Langzhong to deliver an Administrative Reconsideration Application with the parties involved, who disagreed with the detention by the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong and the Government’s rusted concept of law we encountered.

III. Launch Legal Relief Activity

At 9:30 AM, July 6, 2006, I delivered the Administrative Reconsideration Application to the Legislative Affairs Office of the Municipal Government of Langzhong as the agent of Li Chengxi, Xu Xingyue, Wang Suhua, Zhu Guizhen, Ke Yufang, Sun Zhifen and Shi Shi, legally claiming to confirm the administrative punishment against them by the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong had breached relevant laws and to cancel the administrative punishment against them.

After the employee of the Legislative Affairs Office of the Municipal Government of Langzhong finished reading the Application, he said, “You can go now.”

I asked, “You haven’t given us a receipt for our application.

To our surprise, he answered, “We never gave the involved party a receipt, and we determine everything orally.”

I told him, “Official by document, and private by stamp. If we cannot get your receipt, when you refuse to register the application or refuse to reply, and we intend to prosecute the Municipal Government of Langzhong for their nonfeasance, how can I show my evidence? Please give me a receipt.”

Upon my persistence, the employee reluctantly said, “I can only write one for you.”

Then he took out an A4 paper from the printer, on which he wrote: At 9:30 AM, July 6, 2006, received the Administrative Reconsideration Application jointly delivered by Li Chengxi and six other people, copies of the Public Security Administrative Punishment Decision by the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong (seven copies); copies of permanent residence registration card of Zhang Xiaoyan and Ma Shuhua one for each.

Legislative Affairs Office of the Municipal Government of Langzhong, July 6, 2006

He handed the “receipt” to me; I checked and found the “receipt” had not been stamped.

I asked him to stamp at the end of the “receipt,” otherwise others would think it was a forgery. The employee refused to stamp it, saying, “The seal is not kept by me.”

I said, “Could you consult with your leader to stamp the receipt.”

He said, “I cannot, I cannot find the person who keeps the seal.”

I added, “Then you should sign the receipt, otherwise how could we know who issued the receipt?”

The employee was unwillingly to sign his name behind the Legislative Affairs Office of the Municipal Government of Langzhong “Zhang Fengping.” It wasn’t until this moment that I came to know his name. I once conducted administrative reconsideration and administrative lawsuit in other provinces, but the experiences in Langzhong were new to me.

At 10:00 AM that day, after we left the Legislative Affairs Office of the Municipal Government of Langzhong, a microbus of the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong was parked at the gate, two policemen sat inside. Then, I went with Song Liangyu, Li Yuhua and Gou Qingju, the family members of Li Ming, Jin Jirong, Wang Yuan and Li Mingbo to the Correspondence Complaint Office of the People’s Congress Standing Committee to protest the illegal imprisonment of citizens for 10 days without due process, The employees there learned that we intended to accuse the Public Security Bureau, and told us to go to the Legislative Affairs Commission of the People’s Congress of Langzhong. After we arrived at the Legislative affairs Commission, the Director listened to the family members of the parties involved for no more than 5 minutes and refused to listen any more, telling the us he did not deal with affairs like this. Song Liangyu, Li Ming’s wife went on narrating the case, Huang Shunzong quarreled with her persistently. At last, I stopped them and told Huang Shunzong: The Constitution of the PRC and Local Organization Law regulates that the People’s Congress is an organ of authority being responsible for supervising all governmental departments, the Public Security Bureau, the Court and the prosecution. As the leader of the People’s Congress Standing Committee, you are liable to listen to the electorates’ appeal and wish. No matter what we say, you should listen patiently instead of refusing. You may enquire to relevant departments after hearing. Our citizens pay taxes to establish governmental departments, why do we hire people like you? We hire you only to solve conflicts and problems encountered by citizens in daily life. Huang compromised at last, but still refused to listen, only requiring involved parties to appeal to the Public Security Bureau and the prosecutor. I told Huang: “Even if you do not say so, we will go to the prosecutor and the Public Security Bureau, because that is our right endowed by law. We come to you to reflect the problems in accordance with the provisions of the law, with no element of unreasonable provocation. Your behavior proves that you are completely unqualified for the position. After words, we left the office building of the People’s Congress of Langzhong, to the Accusation & Appeal Department of the Prosecution of Langzhong to accuse the Public Security Bureau of Langzhong.

V. The Director of Detention House sighed, “The Detention House of Langzhong was built for Christians.”

In the 1990s, people came and went to the collecting post and detention house of Langzhong , Sichuan , most of them Christians. Each year, scores of Christians were sent for reeducation through labor, usually for two to three years. Christians told me that the persecutions against Christian were countless in Langzhong. During the past ten years, only a few Christians have not been arrested in Langzhong and they were all fined, some up to four times. Village and town cadres would arrest Christians and fine them to get money to drink and smoke. Even the village cadres could fine Christians at any time. What was most interesting was that the non-believers may discriminate against and report Christian meetings. The 80-year-old sister, Lei Guofang, in the Sixth Village of Baoma Town, was fined by village cadres four times. In one arrest, town cadres and policemen tore a big lock of hair out of her head and caused her great pain! But she was dedicated to serving God without fear. She still confidently carries on reception work at home.

Over the last century more than 60 Christians have been reeducated fro two to three years in Langhzong. Their sentences total 120 to 180 years! More than 1000 have been detained for 10 to 15 days! At last, the Director of Langzhong Detention House sighed, “Langzhong Detention House was built for Christians, everyday they walked to and fro endlessly.”

In the past, their persecutions could be described as follows:

1. They are forced to wear a tall paper hat (dunce cap) and a blackboard hung around their neck stating their crime and paraded them through streets;

2. Physically punished by having to kneel on the ground for long hours.

3. Beaten with mulberry braches, the house church leader—Li Ming’s daughter and son were all beaten in this way.

The internal policy of the Public Security Bureau to persecute Christians is as follows:

For those who continue to gather after serving three detentions, must serve reeducate through labor for three years. Upon conviction, the strategy is: you not convicted for the crime of believing in God, but believing in a cult instead, and randomly label Christians as cult followers…[Go To Full Story]