Xinjiang Christians Sue Authorities after Detention for Singing Hymns
ICC Note: As has been noted in previous reports, China’s Christians are learning about their rights under Chinese law and are challenging some of the illegal actions taken by local authorities. Please keep them, and their lawyers, in your prayers as they seek justice and freedom to worship.
By Rachel Ritchie
05/18/2015 China (China Aid)
Two Christians in the far western Chinese Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are awaiting the verdict of an April lawsuit against the Asku Reclamation Area Public Security Bureau after they were detained for signing hymns in a private home.
“These two Christians sang a song at home,” said a lawyer named Xing, who is representing one of the Christians seeking to repeal the administrative penalty. “Before they could finish singing, people from the local police station broke in and took them away. Ren Demei was detained for five days, and Zhao Qi was detained for seven days. Zhao Qi led the singing, and Ren Demei is the owner of the house.”
“On Jan. 12, Ren Demei invited Zhang Yang and Zhao Qi to come to her residence … to engage in religious activity in the name of sharing and exchanging information and studying Christianity,” stated a detention notice from the Asku Reclamation Area Public Security Bureau on Jan. 16. “On Jan. 14, Ren Demei invited many people to her residence, and Zhao Qi led them again in engaging in illegal religious activities in the form of singing Christian hymns and disturbed public order.”
The official charge is “engaging in illegal religious activity to disturb public order.”