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ICC Note: Across China millions of Christians practice their faith at the risk of facing harassment or arrest. Although the actual number is unknown, it’s believed by ICC and other groups that thousands of Christians who worship at illegal house churches across China are currently serving prison sentences at re-education through labor camps. Police in China retain the ability to effectively sentence some “criminals”, including those who gather for illegal worship services, to up to four years at a labor camp without trial. In this case four Christians were detained by police for two weeks for teaching Bible lessons to middle and elementary school children. In China it is also technically illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to attend a religious service. 
9/18/2013 China (ChinaAid) – Four Christian house church members who were illegally detained on Aug. 31 were released on Sept. 14 and are planning to file an administrative lawsuit against the Shaya County Public Security Bureau (PSB).
Brother Liang Zhongxin and Sisters Cao Ling, Liu Jialing and Yu Qingming were illegally detained for giving Bible lessons and preaching the Gospel to middle school and elementary school children during summer vacation. Each individual was held for 15 days and fined 1,000 yuan ($163).
Many individuals involved in this incident believe that the Shaya County PSB’s actions demonstrate the attitude of the Shaya County Party Committee toward evangelism. This incident is viewed as a fight between the house churches and the government over the next generation. From the government’s perspective, the house churches want to train children to be missionaries who will come together to defeat the communist government. Because of this belief, the government has chosen to subdue house church evangelism firmly.
Feeling that it faces a large, hostile army of Christians, the government attacks the house churches for “engaging in illegal activities by utilizing feudal superstitious sects.” The government forcefully bans Sunday school and persecutes church officials.
Also, the PSB and public schools threaten students and parents who have participated in church activities. In this case, the PSB fined the each student’s parents 500 yuan ($81) while the schools fined parents more than 600 yuan ($98). The school claimed it fined parents because it was forced to pay fines for the students’ involvement in church activities.

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