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Tian Min-ge, Su Dean, Prominent Leaders of Fangcheng House Church of Henan Arrested

ICC Note:

Prominent China house church leaders have been arrested by local police on the grounds of “gathering in an illegal assembly under the guise of religion.” While Mr. Wang has been released, Tian and Su still require our urgent prayers on their behalf as their sentences have been elevated to criminal detention.

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1/8/2008 China (ChinaAid) Gansu Province- China Aid has learned from well-known Chinese House church historian Mr. Zhang Yinan that on December 20, 2007, the prominent leaders of the Fangcheng parent house church, Tian Ming-ge and Su Dean, were detained by local police in Jiuquan City. Su and Tian Min-ge, also known as Tian Jin, were in the midst of conducting a church service with fellow co-worker, Wang Hongliang, when local authorities disrupted the gathering and detained the pastors. The three church leaders were arraigned under the charges of “gathering in an illegal assembly under the guise of religion.” Mr. Wang was released after serving 15 days detention, while Tian and Su’s penalties have been elevated to criminal detention on January 5, 2008. With a shaved head and donning prison garb, the 71 year old missionary, Tian Jian, was escorted by authorities from Jiuquan Detention Center to the Fangcheng County Public Security Bureau of Henan.

The arrest of these highly respected and founding members of the house church comes but two days after the Chinese Communist’s politburo held a national session on the implementation of its “religious freedoms” policy. During the conference, President Hu Jintao, reiterated his party’s past position on religious affairs and expressed new ideas on implementing religious freedom in China. This latest proposal strategy will be measured by the way Tian and Su are treated in the coming weeks. In light of over 50 years of persecution amongst its leaders and members, the house church remains weary of the CPC’s promising rhetoric.

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