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ICC Note: Christmas services were interrupted and Christians arrested for having “illegal” religious gatherings. The government is attempting to keep other Christians from holding services.

Released Christian leader Re-arrested on the eve of Christmas in Xinjiang; Christmas Celebration Disrupted in Beijing : Closed house church appealed to the local government in Anhui

12/28/06 China (CAA) Brother Lou Yuanqi was arrested October 20, 2006 for organizing and participating in Christian gatherings in Qingshuihe town, Huocheng County , Yili city,
Xinjiang autonomous area, according to CAA’s prior report.
It is believed that the arrest is to deter the Christians from holding any Christmas celebration
activities. Brother Lou is currently held at the Detention Center of Huocheng
County. So far, none of brother Lou’s family members have received any official
notice regarding the reason of his detention.
Moreover, CAA learns on Christmas Eve, a Christmas celebration was disrupted in Beijing . While about 150 young people were celebrating Christmas in a house church in Haidian District, Beijing , two-dozen PSB officers and officials from Religious Affairs Bureau suddenly surrounded them.
The hosting house church used to be ministered by pastor Cai Zhuohua who is serving three years imprisonment because of bible printing work. All of the participants were videotaped and forced to register their ID numbers. The government officials declared the meeting as an “illegal religious gathering” and warned them not to meet anymore.
CAA also learns that on December 19, 2006 a recently closed house church appealed to the local government for the church’s illegal closure by the local Religious Affair Bureau.
The house church in Tongling city, Anhui province was established by Brother Wang Xingquan in 1953, according to the previous report by CAA. The local Religious Affair Bureau had resorted to
administrative measures, including holding the church leaders’ salaries and threatening to fire them from the national unit, to force the Christians affiliate the government run TSPM church.
“We are very concerned about the arbitrary detention of Brother Lou again,” said Bob Fu, “we
urge the Xinjiang government to release him immediately.”
China Aid Association