Christmas Day Persecution in Anhui, Henan and Xinjiang; 13 Christians in Prison
CHINA – On Christmas day, Christians in Anhui, Henan and Xinjiang were persecuted for their faith by Chinese government officials. At the time of this press release, two leaders are imprisoned in Anhui province, seven Christian leaders are in prison in Xinjiang Autonomous Region and four Christian women leaders are in prison in Henan province.
ANHUI – On December 25, Christmas day, a house church in Bozhou city, Anhui province was also raided while celebrating Christmas. Two leaders were arrested and are still in prison at the time of this press release.
XINJIANG – On December 25, 2008 at 5 p.m., while a house church in Qitai county, Xinjiang Autonomous Region was having a special gathering to celebrate Christmas, the Public Security Bureau (PSB) of that county raided the gathering and arrested seven leaders. The seven arrested leaders include six Christian men: Lu Xiaoshan, Xie Jun, Zhang Yunfu, Wang Jiti, Tian Ruiwen and Ma Shu and one Christian lady whose name is Huang Xiulan. The seven are still in prison at the time of this press release.
This Xinjiang church was planted in the 1940s by the first group of missionaries of China’s “Back to Jerusalem Movement” when many Chinese indigenized church leaders felt the call to migrate to Xinjiang from mainland China. The mission movement was called “Mission Team to the Northwest [China].” Hundreds of Chinese believers and leaders sold all their personal property and migrated to northwestern regions and provinces such as Xinjiang, Ningxia and Gansu. After the Communists took power in 1949, many of the Christians were persecuted, imprisoned and even killed for their faith.
HENAN – Yesterday, after ChinaAid released the story about the nine leaders detained on Christmas Eve in Yucheng county, Henan province, five of the leaders were released on December 25. Four leaders remain in prison.
The nine Christian women leaders were all arrested on Christmas Eve while they had a special celebration on the street reenacting the nativity. The families of the five released leaders were forced to pay fines between 1,500 to 3,500 yuan. The four leaders still imprisoned are being detained at the Detention Center of Yucheng. Their names are: Zhang Xiufang, Liu Suqin, Shan Qimingand and Han Yuhuan.