Pastor and Nine Believers Detained For 6 Months in Central China
Persecutions are taking place in both house churches and state three-self churches in China. The pastor Zhang Shaojie and nine believers from Nanle County Christian Church in Henan province have remained in detention for six months and three other believers are missing. Only Pastor Zhang Shaojie’s trial has begun very recently. Local Christians were constantly denied access to gather at the church for worship by the local government.
05/14/2014 China (ChinaAid)- Local authorities in China’s coastal Jiangsu province barred Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, the president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, from delivering a sermon at a house church on Sunday; meanwhile, Nanle County authorities, in centrally located Henan province, kept Nanle County Christian Church members from gathering again, continuing persecution that began in November 2013.
When Zhang Mingxuan arrived in Jianhu County, Yancheng, Jiangsu on Saturday, he attempted to check into a local hotel, the hotel refused to let him stay, saying there was no room. Zhang Mingxuan told China Aid that the local public security bureau had told the hotel not to let him stay there.
While the president of the China House Church Alliance was persecuted in Jiangsu, Christians in nearby central Henan attempted to gather at Nanle County Christian Church for a worship service and were denied access by the local government.
Church members who attempted to enter were warned that there would be consequences if they were to force their way into the church. “Today, there were still 20-30 government employees guarding the gate of the church,” a believer, Ms. Li said. “They took photos of the Christians [who tried to enter].” Li said that someone from the Nanle County Religious Affairs Bureau, Qiu Yanli, and two men from the town’s People’s Congress were at the gate.
“We still couldn’t gather together successfully,” said Zhang Linxin, the youngest daughter of the church’s detained pastor, Zhang Shaojie. “Only five people slipped into the church when the authorities were not looking. However, when they came out of the church, the people guarding the church took photos of them and threatened that they mustn’t go into the church again.”
Zhang Shaojie was detained in mid-November, along with 23 other church members, after a group attempted to travel to Beijing to petition the government there about the unsatisfactory result of a land dispute between the church and the Nanle County government (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2013/11/three-self-sanctioned-church-pastor-and.html, http://www.chinaaid.org/2013/11/update-three-self-sanctioned-church.htmland http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/01/exclusive-identity-of-12-detained-nanle.html).
Nine believers remain in detention. Three of those believers are missing and assumed to be held in a black jail. Of the nine, only Zhang Shaojie’s trial has begun (seehttp://www.chinaaid.org/2014/02/black-jail-exposed-in-nanle-county.html,http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/02/three-nanle-county-christian-confirmed.html andhttp://www.chinaaid.org/2014/05/henan-pastors-trial-resumes-with-little.html).