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PSB seizes house church rights defender

9/21/09 China (MNN) Increased crackdown in China has led to the abduction of Pastor Hua Huiqi, according to the China Aid Association. Internationally known for his defense of house church rights, Pastor Hua was forced into a government car and taken into police custody. No details were given to Hua’s family, and they fear for his safety.

Last week, officials raided Hua’s Tent-making Ministry in Beijing. Click here to read the full story. Pastor Hua was returning from his “forced vacation” in the Fengtai District when five Public Service Bureau (PSB) officials surrounded him and invited him to dinner.

Claiming to want to talk about last week’s events over dinner, Hua secretly called his wife half an hour later to tell her that he’d been forced into a PSB car. On a second call he told her that PSB officers had taken him to an unknown location; family members lost contact with him when the phone he was using went dead.

Pastor Hua is the leader of Beijing’s Tent-makers Christian Fellowship, which provides training in basic job skills used for tent-making ministry. Hua and members of his family have been arrested and tortured on numerous occasions for his leadership in defending vulnerable people. In February, Hua’s 79-year-old Christian mother finished a two-year sentence for her human rights defense work.

On the night he was abducted, a police officer visited Hua’s home to pick up some clothes for him. When Hua’s wife asked what had happened to her husband and whether he was alive or dead, the officer refused to answer, reportedly saying “Don’t you know who I am? I have no obligation to answer your questions!” after pointing to his police badge.

Hua’s mother, wife, and daughter fear for his safety. One of the police officers who seized Hua was identified as a man who had severely beaten Hua earlier this year.

Please pray for the lawful release of Pastor Hua and for his protection during confinement. Pray also for protection over China’s house churches.