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Confiscated Church Properties in Jiangsu Returned After International Pressure

5/11/07 China (China Aid Association)– China Aid Association has learned that on May 11, the PSB in Kunshan , Jiangsu Province returned all of the confiscated items to the two house churches. The PSB officers told the two church pastors Cui Chengnan and Liu Riguo that the increasing international pressure after CAA’s report and the fear of negative impact of the foreign investment in that area made them do so. The PSB officers apologized to the church privately and even promised to reimburse the cost of the church pew and offering box which were ruined by the PSB during the raid.

On May 9 the two pastors have filed an application for administrative reconsideration and demand that the Kunshan Municipal People’s Government rule that the compulsory administrative measure taken by the respondent (Kunshan Municipal Public Security Bureau) is illegal and return all the items and the donated money confiscated during its raid on the house church. After the return of the church properties, the two pastors decided to withdraw their legal actions.

Photo: Pastor Yang Tianlu’s wife Li Haifang received official notice on April 21 accusing pastor Yang engaging of “organizing evil cult activities” in Xinjiang. Pastor Yang is facing up to three years sentence.

The two house churches were raided separately by the Kunshan Municipal Public Security Bureau on April 29, 2007. The policemen declared their meetings “illegal assemblies” and confiscated their notebook computers, projectors, DVD players, stereo, microphones, Bibles and other materials. They also took away the church offering boxes.

“This is certainly a welcoming first step in the right direction,” said Bob Fu. “The Chinese House Church is not seeking confrontation with their government. The action that Jiangsu authority has taken demonstrated that reasonable approach like this could be found in its interaction with the house churches and we highly commend this approach.”