House Church Talk - China story unfolding

forwarded forwarded at
Wed Feb 25 14:07:08 EST 2004

     China Arrests Dozens of Prominent Christians

At least 50 detained in fresh crackdown on house churches, reportedly 
promoted by new video and book releases.

A brief excerpt from:

China's Public Security Bureau has launched a new crackdown on 
unregistered church leaders, arresting 50 or more people following the 
release of a new video and book, documenting huge growth among Christians 
outside the officially permitted church.

In mid-February, the China Aid Association confirmed that in January 
police arrested three prominent Protestant leaders from Henan province, 
including Qiao Chunling, 41, in Luoyang; Deborah Xu Yongling, 58, in 
Nanyang; and Zeng Guangbo, 35, in Deng County. Guangbo escaped two days 
after he was arrested, and remains in hiding.

The crackdown may last for 30 days and began during China's annual 
National Religious Working Conference. This meeting brings together top 
leaders of the state Religious Affairs Bureau and the policy-making 
United Front Work Department. Both are charged with oversight of religion 
in China.

During that meeting, communist leaders screened a new, four-hour digital 
video, The Cross: Jesus in China. China Soul for Christ Foundation of 
Petaluma, California, produced the series and Yuan Zhiming, a 
pro-democracy leader and a Christian, wrote and directed it.

Communist leaders were also briefed on Jesus in Beijing, a new book by 
journalist David Aikman, formerly a Time magazine correspondent in 
Beijing. Both the video and book document the stunning growth and 
vibrancy of Christianity in China. The video has been classified as 
"political matter," and Public Security Bureau officers are confiscating 
CDV copies of the widely distributed series and other Christian 

A source based in Hong Kong told CT that the crackdown will focus on "the 
people mentioned in the video and the book" and may be as brutal as the 
recent repression of Falun Gong. China's actions against Falun Gong, a 
traditionalist sect that emphasizes meditation, resulted in many arrests, 
imprisonments, beatings, and deaths. A New York-based watchdog group 
reported that 64 Falun Gong practitioners have died after being tortured 
inside China since November 2003.

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