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ICC Note: Here is an update on the fifty Christians who were arrested during the Dangshan church demolition. Several are still being held in detention and many have been cruelly tortured while in custody. The government of Zhejiang Province appears to be planning to demolish several other churches. Please pray for the Christians who suffered at the hands of the police and for those who are still in custody. Pray also for international pressure to prevent the Zhejiang government from demolishing anymore churches.

5 Christians Receive formal Arrest Notifications from Xiaoshan Zhejiang Police, 3 Christians Suffer Broken Ribs in Prison, Christian reporter fired

CAA (8/10/06) – CAA learned August 8, that after two weeks of detention the police finally issued five of the fifty Christians who were arrested during the Dangshan church demolition in Xiaoshan , Zhejiang Province, formal notification of “criminal detention.” The five are accused of “interfering with duty of police officers.” Two of the five have decided to engage Mr. Sun Hongye, Dr. Li Baiguang and Mr. Zhang Xingshui as their defense lawyers.

CAA also learned that the Christians were cruelly tortured during interrogation. The methods are very brutal according to the descriptions of Christians who have been released. At least three suffered broken ribs. Female Christians were forced to strip in public.

The family members of these Christians not only endured the pain of their relatives’ arrests but the police searched some of their homes and confiscated their property.

According to statistics, as of August 8th, among the 50 + Christians arrested during the Dangshan church demolition in Xiaoshan, Zhejiang, more than 20 have been released, 5 have been informed of “criminal detention” which means they will very likely face lawsuits. More than 20 are still locked up without any formal charges.

Christians in Xiaoshan said the level of persecution has surpassed that during the Cultural Revolution, and is the most serious in the Xiaoshan churches’ 140 year history. The Xiaoshan churches have engaged “The Association of Human Rights Attorneys for Chinese Christians” as their legal representatives for all of the lawsuits. Dr. Fan Yafeng and Dr. Li Baiguang, members of The Association of Human Rights Attorneys for Chinese Christians, have arrived at Xiaoshan, and are investigating the incident.

According to reliable sources, the government of Zhejiang Province is planning to demolish two other churches in Shaoxing City , Zhejiang Province, we appeal to the international media to pressure the Zhejiang government to stop violating the constitutional right of religious freedom in China .

Newest information acquired by CAA:

Zan Aizong, a Christian reporter in Zhejiang , has been fired from his position at a government newspaper office because of a published comment he made about the Xiaoshan incident. This firing has not been made public…[Go To Full Story]