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ICC Note: The following article, published by the UK based Telegraph, reveals more details about the arrest of Cao Nan, a 39-year old Chinese Christian who was detained after singing hymns and preaching in a public park. Mr. Cao has filed a lawsuit against the police for his arrest in an attempt to draw attention to Christian persecution in China.
By Tom Phillips
2/06/2013 China (CA) – Cao Nan, a 39-year-old charity worker from the southeastern city of Shenzhen, was detained on December 15 last year after meeting with other Christians in the city’s Lizhi Park to sing hymns and preach.
Mr Cao, who worships at an unofficial local ‘house-church’, said he had been accused of “falsely using the name of Christianity to harm social order” – charges he rejects.
“I am indeed a Christian,” he told The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, a day after filing a lawsuit against police. “I did not pretend to be one or use the name of Christianity [falsely]. We were just singing the gospel and preaching Christian principles. I think they just found an excuse to detain people, to warn and to threaten.” Mr Cao blamed much of the persecution he claimed to suffer on “national security” agents.
“They are worried that if they allow Christianity to grow, its influence will surpass that of the Communist Party, win the public’s favor and challenge the governance of the ruling party. They also have worries that it might be used by anti-China parties or countries,” he said.

Under China’s current laws, underground house churches are outlawed and only churches controlled by Beijing’s Religious Affairs Bureau are permitted. China’s authorized Protestant churches are overseen by the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and Catholic churches fall under the control of the Catholic Patriotic Association.
The US-based Christian rights group ChinaAid accuses Beijing of conducting a sustained campaign against those who worship at unsanctioned churches.
Mr Cao said he hoped launching legal proceedings against the police would encourage other Christians to speak out against religious persecution.
“I didn’t do this for myself. As a Christian, I’m totally happy to suffer for my beliefs,” he said.
“I hope we can prove that preaching the gospel is legal through legal means. I hope more and more Christians will have the courage to speak out and to help change and improve China’s moral crisis.”

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