China Detains Mother Of Beijing House Church

Monday, February 12, 2007

By BosNewsLife News Center

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- The 76-year-old mother of a well-known Beijing house church activist was said to be behind bars Saturday, February 10, on charges of damaging public and private properties.

Shuang Shuying was arrested Friday, February 9, shortly after her son, activist Hua Huiqi, was sentenced to one month of "criminal detention of intervening with public affairs," Bob Fu, a former co-worker, told BosNewsLife.

Last month he and his mother were allegedly beaten by Beijing police while walking near a 2008 Olympic Games hotel site. Family members said seven police officers attacked both Hua and his mother. Police also poured water over him in freezing temperatures, rights watchers said.

"We believe that the arrest of his mother is to stop his family's attempts to appeal the verdict," said Fu, who also leads the US-based religious rights group China Aid Association. "We also believe that it's an instruction directly from a higher level of government" and "are deeply concerned about Hua and his mother's situation," he added.


He said his group had urged Chinese and other Christians in Beijing to visit "and pray for Hua's family." Fu said CAA had asked Chinese authorities to "treat this case according to the rule of law [and] release Hua Huiqi and his aged and ill mother."

CAA has linked the reported ill treatment of Hua and his mother to his activities as an active house church Christian in Beijing and his role in "passionately serving the ministry and assisting lots of persecuted Christians and oppressed peasants."

The arrests come amid confusion about China's policy towards religion after a Chinese government official was reportedly rebuked for criticizing United States President George W. Bush. On February 2, Ye Xiaowen, the Director of State Administration of religious Affairs (SARA) published an article on the front page of the overseas edition of People's Daily accusing Bush of "instigating a religious war in the name of anti-terrorism."

However Chinese government sources later said the article was completely removed from all of the official websites in China. Human rights watchers say China is trying to formulate a policy towards the growing number of Christians in the Communist nations. Officials recently said there were indications there are now 130 million Christian believers, 50 million more than previously estimated. (With BosNewsLife reporting and BosNewsLife Research).

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