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ICC Note:

The pastor of a house church in China, Chen Shixin was charged and arrested on April 12th under the false accusations that he illegally planted Chinese medicine on the Shayuzi Hill, near the border of Lieshan District. Furthermore, he was accused of hiring bulldozers to remove trees owned by Li Wenquian, a resident of the Duji District. However, these accusations contradict the facts of the case. The conflict began when the court in Lieshan District granted the church the right to a plot of land that was part of a 494-acre expanse of forest illegally occupied by influential people from Duji District for more than 20 years. When the church complained, the Lieshan District and Duji District agreed that the land belonged to the Lieshan District but failed to produce any official documents. However, now the local governments have retracted their previous statements and ruled that the land belongs to the Duji District, putting Chen technically in the wrong, but the procuratorate has failed to properly review the facts of Chen’s case.

07/31/2017 China (China Aid) – A procuratorate in China’s eastern Anhui province roused suspicions on July 20 after they transferred the case of a house church pastor to a court for prosecution, seemingly without taking enough time to properly review the evidence.

After a local police station gathered falsified evidence against Caili Church pastor Chen Shixin, they submitted it to a local procuratorate for review on July 17. Three days later, the procuratorate transferred the case to a local court, beginning the prosecution stage and causing Christians to suspect that the procuratorate had not properly reviewed the case.

According to the indictment, Chen illegally planted Chinese medicine on Shayuzi Hill near the border of Lieshan District, where he lives, and the neighboring Duji District. The document also accused him of hiring bulldozers with the help of two accomplices in order to remove 3,307 pomegranate, apricot, and sycamore trees owned by Duji District resident Li Wenqian, the value of which amounts to 190,000 yuan ($27,928.00 USD).

However, the indictment’s accusations contradict the facts of the case. The conflict began when a court in Lieshan District granted the church the right to a plot of land which was part of a 494-acre expanse of forest illegally occupied by influential people from Duji District for more than 20 years. Wanting to build a temple on the land, the Duji occupants began to look for reasons to frame the church and used Chen’s work on the church’s contracted land to accuse him of property damage.

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