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ICC Note:
Seven of more than 50 Christians detained April 14th, 2012 remained behind bars yesterday as they were charged with “cult activity,”  more than one year following their initial arrest. The seven were detained in a 200-personnel police raid of a growing house church in China’s Hanan Province. The China Aid Association is currently in talks with the state on behalf of the detained to determine potential for appeal, on a case-by-case basis. A growing prevalence of state officials manipulating cult laws to arbitrarily detain peaceful Christian worshipers continues to concern religious freedom and human rights advocates and threaten the growth of the Chinese underground church movement.
06/03/2013 China (BosNewsLife) – Seven members of a house church in China’s Henan province spent Sunday, June 2, behind bars after they were sentenced to long prison terms on charges of “cult activity”, a leading rights activist told BosNewsLife.
Bob Fu, president of the China Aid Association (CAA), said among those detained was the pastor and even “a few ladies who were making copies of the sermons”.
He said 60-year-old church leader Han Hai was sentenced to 7.5 years imprisonment, while fellow Christian from Singapore Hu Linpu, 49, received a seven year sentence.
Zhang Mian, the owner of the home where the church services took place, was told to serve four years behind bars, while Cao Xia, who is is in her 50s, got a 3.5 years sentence, Fu told BosNewsLife. Yang Lianbing, 23, as well as two women in their 20s, Wang En and Li Dan, were each sentenced to three years imprisonment, he added.
“Their defense lawyers received the verdict and sentencing papers just last week,” Fu explained.
He said CAA is raising financial support to appeal the sentences amid concerns about the fairness of the trial. However, “It’s unclear whether or not these sentences can be appealed” but CAA “is looking into each case,” he confirmed.
The Christians were among over 50 Christians who were detained on April 14 last year when a massive police force raided their house church of Dianying village, located in Henan’s Ye county and city of Pingdingshan.
“You might remember last year the officials raided the house church where 54 young people were quietly attending a Bible study class. Suddenly, more than 200 police and government officials surrounded the meeting place and took all the students away, including a mother and her one-year-old infant,” explained Fu, who is in close contacts with the believers.
He said the “entire police force” of Ye county, including “officials from the township government, armed police, fire brigade, and anti-terrorism police” were involved in the action. “Police were also equipped with two water cannons. In addition, the Pingdingshan Public Security Bureau and officers from the police stations of two neighboring townships also assisted in the raid.”

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