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Massive Arrest of Chinese and American Christian Leaders in Xinjiang

4/24/07 China (China Aid Association) — China Aid Association has learned though credible sources that on April 19, 2007 in Akesu city, Xinjiang province, about 30 major house church leaders were arrested when they met with four American Christians. The four Americans were also arrested. Included among the arrested Americans are a senior pastor and an associate pastor of an American church. Sources tell CAA that the four Americans arrived at Akesu airport on April 17 and fellowshipped with the house church leaders on April 18 at a local church family house.

At the time of this press release the four Americans are still being held for questioning in an undisclosed hotel. The translator for the Americans, Mr. Jinhong Li from Beijing , is also still being detained. On April 23, the PSB confiscated the luggage of the four Americans from the house of their host, a local church family.

Eight Chinese pastors were released on April 20 and at least 6 others have already received criminal detention papers for 30 days detention, accused as “suspects involved in evil cult activities.” The names of the accused are Pastor Xinglan Zhao, Pastor Xiurong Huang, Pastor Tianlu Yang, 41, Pastor Chaoyi Wang, 41, Pastor Cuiling Li, 48, and Pastor Sijun He.

The Chinese government may sentence the six accused pastors to 1-3 years re-education through labor because they were previously detained a couple of years ago for one month for organizing house church activities. Eyewitnesses told CAA that at least two of the arrested were seen with bleeding noses and bruises on their faces from torture at the interrogation site. They are being held at A Ke Su City Detention Center.

CAA has learned the US Embassy is intervening for this case.

“We urge the Xinjiang authorities to abide by both the Chinese and international laws in respect of religious freedom.” said Rev. Bob Fu, the president of CAA, “These Americans and Chinese Christians have done nothing wrong and the Police who are engaging in torture against theses Christians are to be held legally and morally responsible for what they have done.”