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Sichuan police raid gathering of house church members, detain 9

ICC Note:

Pastors and missionaries were among the 20 Christians arrested when plain clothes police invaded a house church meeting and began dispersing people for gathering for an illegal meeting.

By Rachel Ritchie

1/23/2015 China (China Aid)-A house church gathering of more than 70 Christians in China’s southwestern Sichuan province was raided by police officers on Tuesday, and more than 20 people were taken into custody, among which were two pastors and two missionaries.

More than 70 Christians from various places gathered at a meeting held by Langzhong House Church in Langzhong, Nanchong at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at a place called the Bamboo Mountain Villa. The meeting was for local house church representatives to discuss how to overcome their estrangements with each other.

At 10:30 a.m., dozens of plainclothes officers from the local public security bureau and police station raided the meeting, dispersing the worshippers and detaining more than 20 for attending an “illegal assembly.”

“A total of nine people have been [placed under administrative detention],” said Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance. “Five of them, including Pastor Li Ming, [one of Langzhong House Church’s leaders], have been sentenced to 15 days. The four others were sentenced to 10-days administrative detention. The other 14 who were initially detained have been released.”

Others still held at the Shaxi Township Police Station in Langzhong include Pastor Li Mingbo, another Langzhong House Church leader, Pastor Liu Yong, from a house church in Chengdu, a Langzhong Church elder named Wang, Pastor Sun and his wife, Ma Ying, the two missionaries from Mianyang, and three Langzhong Church members: Zhou Chunyan, Chen Yihui, and Liang Renyan.

“Their cell phones were all confiscated,” one worshipper said. “Finally they gave a cell phone to one of the church members who called me. I said I had already come back home and asked him where he was. He said he was still at the police station. He said he hadn’t been released and explained how he had been able to call me.”

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