China Expels House Church Leader From Beijing

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News) -- Chinese security forces expelled well-known evangelist and leader of China's growing house church movement, Pastor 'Bike' Zhang Mingxuan, from the capital Beijing Friday, January 16, while he was praying for a dying Christian man, a well-informed advocacy group told Worthy News.

"Pastor Bike was taken away by over a dozen officers of the Public Security Bureau (PSB)," China's main law enforcement agency, and put on a bus to Henan province," said China Aid Association (CAA).

Authorities also refused to allow Pastor Bike's family to stay in Beijing, CAA added.

The incident happened while he was praying for 91-year old Hua Zaichen, the dying husband of Shuang Shuying, a 77-year-old Beijing resident, who CAA said was sentenced to two years in prison in 2007 for involvement in Christian activities and defending human rights.


The frail woman, who reportedly lost her eyesight wile in prison, has apparently been refused to visit her dying husband.

Pastor Bike was praying for Hua Zaichen when the government officials broke into the house," of a fellow church leader where the prayer meeting took place, added CAA. The group said it has been in telephone contact with  Pastor Bike.

In addition, "Pastor Bike also met two Uyghur Muslim human rights petitioners from Xinjiang province at Pastor Hua’s home. The two women were there to ask for help about where they should go to petition the government."

The women reportedly complained about "corrupt government officials" who allegedly confiscated their land. "Pastor Bike told us he shared the gospel with them," CAA said.


Friday's incident came less than two months after authorities told him they had abolished his Chinese House Church Alliance, a major umbrella group of house churches.

"It has been found through investigations that the 'Chinese House Church Alliance' is not registered, and it engages in its activities in the name of a social organization without authorization," the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said November 28, according to a translation of the document obtained by Worthy News.

"Pursuant to Article 35 of the 'Regulation on Registration and Administration of Social organizations,' this agency has hereby made the decision to abolish the Chinese House Church Alliance," it added.

He was also detained on several occasions, while his oldest son, Zhang Jian, was seriously injured when PSB officers attacked him for nearly half an hour "with iron bars" in October last year, according to CAA investigators and US officials.


Pastor Bike, as he is affectionately known, can be compared with American evangelist Billy Graham because he led "thousands to Christ", many of them under the age of 18, which is illegal in China, according to Christian rights investigators.

As president of the underground Chinese House Church Alliance, he was also involved in distributing Bibles and other Christian literature.

Advocacy groups had hoped that the recent Beijing Olympic Games would encourage Chinese officials to allow more religious freedom, but they reported a fresh crack down on house churches in the country.

Authorities have strongly denied human rights abuses, and say Christians are free to worship in the official churches of the Communist-run nation.