January 30th, 2008 09:38 EST
Chinese police officials burn Bibles, beat Church members
YUNAN, China, Jan. 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- China Aid Association has learned that members of a House Church in Yunan Province were severely beaten by police officials on the morning of January 23.
The incident occurred after two church members walked into the Xishan District`s Public Security Bureau office to request an account of the items, including Bibles, that were taken from the church and burned by police officials in early December of 2007. After ignoring the members` request, officials proceeded to violently remove them from the office.
One female church member 54-year-old Ms. Liang Guihua was thrown into a wall and rendered unconscious for more than 10 minutes. After leaving the police station the members went to a local hospital. One member returned to the station later that afternoon to request an account of the morning`s incident. The official on duty told the member that he would not testify to the incident even though he had witnessed the account first-hand.
The series of events originated on December 5, 2007 at 2:00pm, when policemen and members of the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs disrupted the house church meeting in Kunming, and detained several members.
After searching the building, police seized several hundred Christian books including Bibles and note-pads, and proceeded to burn them outside of the residence. Police also destroyed the identification cards of three of the church members and instructed the landlord of the building to cease rental agreements with the congregation.
Chinese law requires officials to issue certificates documenting items taken during seizures. The church members have requested documentation of the items several times, but have been turned away by police officials every time.
Any Government which displays such blatant disregard for human rights and religious freedom demands to be held accountable. Government officials have now resorted to the burning of Bibles in order to hinder the growth of the House Church in China. We urge the international community to demand an accounting of these officials for the egregious acts committed against the house church members in Yunan Province.
To voice your concern over this incident, please contact:
Chinese Embassy in Washington DC
Address: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 338-6688, (202)5889760
Fax: (202) 588-9760