Tuesday, 18 August 2009


HENAN, CHINA -- ChinaAid has stated that on Thursday, August 13 at 8:00 p.m. (Beijing time), two Laojie Christian Church leaders were guarding their church building in Shandong village, Sanggu town, Xiayi county of Shangqiu in Henan province, China, when they were arrested by authorities.
At the time of the ChinaAid press release, Li Guangren and Zheng Xiancai were still being detained by the Public Security Bureau of Xiayi County.
A ChinaAid spokesperson told ANS, “The arrests are the latest in a series of incidents in which authorities have attempted to confiscate the church building by force. Laojie Christian Church is an unregistered house church with more than 200 believers, and has been meeting at their current location since April 1987.
“Recently village officials began working with real estate developers to build a highway that would go through the location of the church property. In this development, government officials could sell the church property at a higher price, resulting in high profits.
“The Village Party Committee of Shandong village proposed to exchange the church’s current for land half the size and in another location. When Laojie Christian Church of Sanggu turned down the proposal, requesting a more equitable exchange of land, the Village Party Committee of Shandong Village threatened to demolish the church’s building by force.”
ChinaAid stated that on August 6, 2009 the Bureau of Religious and Ethnic Affairs in Xiayi County issued a second notice officially banning Laojie Christian Church in Shandong village, Sanggu town, Xiayi county of Shangqiu in Henan province.
The document declared the church “an illegal site for religious activities” and banned the church. In addition, the document accused the church of “being indifferent” and taking a “laisser-faire attitude” toward the previous document abolishing the church issued on June 27, because the Christians have continued to meet at the site. Since May 26, Christians from the church have been guarding the site almost 24 hours a day.
Laojie Christian Church of Sanggu sent the following three cell phone numbers of church members and invites the international community to contact them:
For more information, go to: www.ChinaAid.org