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House church leader frustrated with relentless persecution

ICC Note:

Another look at Chinese House Church Alliance president, Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, and his frustration with the increasingly frequent and severe persecution of Christians despite two open letters to the Chinese government and a third to the international community at large.

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2/20/08 China (ChristianToday) Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, who heads the Chinese House Church Alliance, issued the letter on Monday to the international community out of frustration over being driven from house to house by officials with no response from the central government or the judiciary system to his appeal for justice.

Zhang, who converted to Christianity in 1986, is used to persecution after having been stalked, arrested, beaten and imprisoned 12 times for his activities in the house church movement.

“In all helplessness, I wrote two open letters to President Hu Jintao. While the letters did not produce any result, they all the more persecuted the orphans and the church and they even forced two of my sons to move. On November 6, 2007, the orphanage was moved to a residential compound in Beijing. However, on the next day, the police officers from Tongzhou District of Beijing tried to force the landlord to drive us out.”

According to Fu [President of the China Aid Association], the intensified campaign against Zhang is “absolutely” related to the Beijing Olympics and the government’s efforts to crack down on the house church movement. Fu said the government’s main goal is to destroy the house church network and isolate Zhang who is the leader of the underground church.

As noted by many other human rights group, China has engaged in a softer crackdown on churches by preferring to target house church leaders instead of ordinary Christians to avoid attracting international attention to human rights violations.

“We pray to God that those brothers and sisters imprisoned for preaching Jesus Christ will be released soon and that God will make leaders in the Chinese government to treat the believers in a correct way and that God will make China a country full of love, justice, freedom and prosperity.” Zhang wrote.

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