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Salvation Church lawyers submit opinion statement on injured Christians’ behalf

ICC Note:

Amid the massive anti-church/cross campaign carried out by Zhejiang Provincial government in China, fourteen Christians were beaten by the government’s demolition team when the government tried to forcibly remove the cross on the top of Jiuen (salvation) Church. On August 18th, fourteen lawyers represented those injured Christians and presented the Pingyang County Public Security Bureau and the Pingyang County Procuratorate with their official opinion statement. ICC’s local contact said that “like the Apostle Paul standing before Caesar’s court, we are doing our best as Chinese citizens to defend our rights through the legal process.”

08/19/2014 China (ChinaAid)– Fourteen lawyers representing Christians injured in Wenzhou authorities July 21 attempt to demolish Salvation Church’s cross presented the Pingyang County Public Security Bureau and the Pingyang County Procuratorate with their official opinion statement on Friday.

Authorities were successful in their efforts to demolish the coastal Zhejiang province’s church’s cross on Thursday. Officials had attempted to forcibly demolish the cross twice before in July. The second attempt resulted in a bloody altercation, which left approximately 100 injured. Fourteen of those injured Christians required medical attention.

The lawyers’ statement, translated by China Aid, is below.

Pingyang County Public Security Bureau:

Pingyang County Procuratorate:

We, 14 lawyers, authorized by the victims of the Pingyang Religious Case, Zhang Zhimin, Zhao Hongjin, Li Qianbo, Wu Quanquan, Huang Heming, Xie Zuozhong and Wen Zhixiang, hereby present our lawyers’ opinion statement to the Pingyang County Public Security Bureau on the vicious, criminal Pingyang Religious Case, in which several hundred thugs demolished the cross of the Christian Salvation Church of Pingyang and brutally beat the Christians.

According to the people who have authorized us and according to our investigation, we have learned the following facts:

Late at night on July 21, 2014, more than 600 uniformed and well-trained thugs wearing helmets and wielding police equipment, gathered in front of the Salvation Church in Shuitou town, Pingyang County, [Wenzhou]. At the scene, there were several dozens of vehicles, including fire engines, ambulances, police vehicles, and busses. In the early morning, several hundred thugs, wielding batons, frantically beat the Christians guarding Salvation Church. Dozens of people, including those people who have authorized us in this matter, were beaten and injured. When this case of violence happened, numerous Christians called police at 110 for help. However, the local police didn’t send out police officers and simply let this case of violence continue.

On August 14, 2014, the cross of Salvation Church was demolished.

After this case of violence occurred, some of the victims authorized the lawyers, in accordance with law, to sue the perpetrators and appeal for them. We went to Pingyang County Public Security Bureau on August 14, 2014 to negotiate with [the police]. The police’s reply: this case is an act of the government, and the police from the Public Security Bureau did not participate in this case. As for who was the organizer, the executor, etc., the public security agency will conduct an impartial investigation in accordance with law and handle this case in a just and legal manner.

As evidence, there are photos and videos of the scene, in which several hundred thugs attack.

Regarding the Pingyang Religious Case violence, we think:

  1. Chinese citizens enjoy the freedom of religion, and the state protects the normal religious activities. These are the basic principles of the Constitution of our country. Religious sites and properties are protected under the law. In the meantime, this is also the bottom-line of civilization recognized by all civilized countries.

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