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ICC Note: A little success in China

Another Christian Leader Arrested and Imprisoned in Xinjiang;

11/15/06 China (CAA) CAA learned that another Christian was arrested in Xinjiang, which is the 3rd religious persecution event in Xinjiang in the past 2 months. Shandong Administrative Penalty against a House Church was revoked which is the first successful Christian case due to successful legal challenge and CAA ‘s international media campaign.

Christian Sister Tian Maishi, a 53-year-old retired English teacher from Kashi Educational Institute was arrested. A second generation Christian in her family, Sister Tian moved to Uramqi, the capital of the area and engaged in missionary work after retirement.

Sister Tian was taken from her home and jailed in a Kuche detention center on the charges of “illegal evangelism” and “engaging in superstitious fraudulent activities.” Through out the ordeal not one legal procedure was followed nor were any friends or relatives informed of her arrest.

It was not until Mr. Song Jiawen, Sister Tian’s husband, who works in another city, Kurla, as a researcher in Xinjiang Architectural Institute, returned home did he find his wife missing. He searched the whole city before finding sister Tian in the Kuche detention center, where she had been held for 3 weeks.

“What the police did in this event tramples the very basic human rights stipulated in Chinese constitution, the abduction is ethically unacceptable.” said Rev. Bob Fu, the president of CAA, “This is not only an event of religious persecution, but also a violation of very basic human rights. The Police are to be held legally and morally responsible for what they have done.”

Meanwhile, CAA learned Christians Tian Yinghua, Wang Qiu, and Jiang Rong in Wendeng City, Shandong Province, who filed lawsuits against the local PSB, have reached an out of court agreement. As a result of the agreement the Wendeng PSB revoked the administrative penalty decision and the three Christians withdrew their lawsuit.

June 11, 2006, Tian, Wang, and Jiang, were arrested by the Wendeng PSB during a regular Christian Sunday service and put under administrative detention for 10 days on the charges of “violating the religious management regulation, holding an illegal meeting, and illegal evangelism.”

Believing such punishment was unacceptable, Tian, Wang, and Jiang submitted an application for Administrative Review to the local government via Dr. Li Baiguang, June 30, 2006, and the application was rejected September 28, 2006. As a backup legal measure, they filed a lawsuit with the local court through Dr. Li Baiguang, for illegal detention and requested the court find their administrative punishment illegal, revoke the punishment, and pay restitution October 12, 2006.

October 25, 2006, defense lawyer, Dr. Li Baiguang argued the case before the Wendeng Intermediate People’s Court. Following the trial the Wendeng PSB contacted the Christians and proposed the out of court settlement.

November 10, 2006, the Wendeng Intermediate People’s Court approved the settlement in which the Christians also agreed to give up the symbolic restitution of 1 ¥ each.

“This is a milestone in the history of the Chinese house church,” said Rev. Bob Fu, the president of CAA, “because for the first time Chinese house church Christians have been successful in getting the government to admit that they should not violate the religious freedom in the name of the law. We praise God who led us on this path several years ago, and we also appreciate the efforts of Dr. Li Baiguang and other human rights lawyers who champion the right of religious freedom in China in a peaceful way.”

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