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ICC Note: This is a follow up on the destruction of the giant house church in China and the arrest of the lawyer who defends the human rights for Christians.

Six House Church Leaders Arrested After Church Destruction

8/23/2006 China (Christian Newswire)– China Aid Association learned that, six detained House Church leaders have been formally arrested after their church was destroyed on July 29th in Xiaoshan , Zhejiang Province while ten Christians who had been detained since the church demolition were released. The six arrested were accused of “resisting the carry-out of the law by instigating violence.”

CAA learned at least 4 Christian human rights attorneys including Dr. Li Baiguang, Dr. Fan Yafeng, attorney Zhang Xingshui and attorney Sun Hongye have volunteered to defend the arrested six church leaders. CAA also learned that the Zhejiang government bulldozed the Dalin church in Shaoxing City . We are still waiting for details.
The arrest of well known human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, August 15, 2006, aroused concerns both domestically and internationally.

Gao was kidnapped by a dozen of Chinese security agents at 12 noon on August 15 at his sister’s home in Shandong province. Only until two days later, the Chinese official news agency confirmed Gao’s arrest by accusing him as a suspect of committing crime. Since then, Gao’s whereabouts’ is still unknown. Outsiders are not able to contact his family. His wife, two young children are still under house arrest. When visitors came to their home officers of the National Security Bureau (NSB) answered the door. A group of NSB officers stayed with Mr. Gao’s wife and children (ages 13 and 2) in their apartment after his arrest in order to monitor them. These visitors also found plain-clothed policemen around.

“The formal arrest of the six House church leaders in Zhejiang and arbitrary detention of Mr. Gao will be the litmus test to the whole world as to whether the Chinese government will truly carry out its promise to rule of the law and religious freedom,” said Rev. Bob Fu, President of CAA, “The house arrest of Mr. Gao’s family members is absolutely illegal. Forcibly entering and occupying private property is completely in violation of the China ’s Constitution. Putting two children under house arrest also violates the International Covenant on Children’s Rights.”

CAA calls upon the international community to urgently take prayerful actions to secure Mr. Gao’s release. CAA urges President Bush and Secretary Rice to personally intervene for the safety of Mr. Gao and his family members.

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