Pastor “Bike” Zhang Attempts to File Administrative Complaint with Support of 15 Chinese Legal Professionals and Intellectuals, Court Declines Case
by Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
12/9/08 China (ANS) On December 4, 2008 Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan attempted to file an “Administrative Statement of Complaint” against the government decision to abolish the Chinese House Church Alliance, but the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing refused to accept the case.
A news report from China Aid said that in support of the Chinese House Church Alliance, 15 Chinese Christian legal professionals and intellectuals have issued a formal solemn declaration against the actions of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, stating in part, “If this order of abolishment continues to be used in other expanded areas, this could well cause the abolishment of all the Christian house churches.”
The actions of Pastor Bike and the legal professionals are in protest of the measures taken by the Ministry of Civil Affairs against Pastor Bike and the Chinese House Church Alliance. On November 28, 2008, officials from the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced to Pastor Bike the “Decision Statement on Abolishment” of the Chinese House Church Alliance which reads: “It has been found through investigations that the ‘Chinese House Church Alliance’ is not registered, and it engages in its activities in the name of a social organization without authorization. Pursuant to Article 35 of the ‘Regulation on Registration and Administration of Social Organizations,’ this agency has hereby made the decision to abolish the ‘Chinese House Church Alliance.’ — Public Seal of Ministry of Civil Affairs, November 28, 2008.”
The same morning the abolishment of the Chinese House Church Alliance was announced, officers arrested 17 Christians and an American reporter who were holding a prayer meeting in the residence of Pastor Bike. All the Christians were released that day, but officials confiscated more than 600 Bibles computers, VCD players and other personal property. All confiscated items were returned three days later except for the Bibles and Christian literature.
On December 4, Pastor Bike and his lawyer went to file the administrative statement at the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing. However, the court declined to accept the case, saying Pastor Bike cannot sue Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA). The reason given was that Pastor Bike cannot prove it was the MCA that orchestrated the events of November 28, because there was no legal document issued.
Court officials said that it was possible the Public Security Bureau (PSB) that confiscated the property. After 20 minutes with the court officials, the case was still not filed successfully. It is believed that this is a tactic used by government officials to protect government interests and to delay responsible actions on this case.
Since China Aid has reported on Pastor Bike and his family, many from around the world have responded by speaking out on his behalf. Pastor Bike told China Aid recently that he has been encouraged by phone calls he has received from an official from the U.S. embassy in Beijing who expressed concern for him and his family on behalf of the U.S. embassy.
In another story, China Aid reported that recently friends of the organization visited Christian prisoner Shi Weihan’s family and reported to China Aid about the family’s situation and ongoing persecution by the Chinese government.
Christian bookstore owner and house church leader, Shi Weihan, has been imprisoned in Beijing Haidian District Detention Center since March 19, 2008 for printing and distributing Bibles and other Christian literature.
No charges have ever been filed against Shi Weihan. He is being held under “administrative detention” and could be held up to three years without any charges. Shi Weihan’s wife is bearing much of the burden for their family. Authorities continue to pressure the family. It is reported that Shi Weihan’s brother has been beaten by police for his involvement with Shi Weihan’s Christian bookstore.