China House Church Leader Gets One Year "Harsh Labor" For Preaching To Communist Official

Monday, April 2, 2007

By BosNewsLife News Center

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- China has sentenced a key house church leader "to one year re-education through labor" for explaining the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a Communist Party official, fellow believers confirmed Saturday, March 31.

Gu Changrong, 54, was detained March 14 by local police in Fushun city in China's Liaoning province while "sharing her Christian faith", with the secretary of the Communist Party of her village, who was identified as Yu Mingfu, said advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA).

Yu allegedly called the police saying Gu was guilty of poisoning Communist Party members with her Christian message. The party official could not be reached for comment.

Three Public Security Bureau officers took Gu away and soon after she received the one year forced labor sentence on charges of "using evil cult organizations to obstruct the exercising of state laws," relatives said.


CAA claimed that although of her relatives "received any formal notice of her sentence since Gu's arrest," they discovered that she began serving her sentence at the feared Ma San Jia Labor Camp.

CAA said the camp is "internationally known for its harsh treatment and torture against thousands of imprisoned Falun Gong followers there." CAA said Gu and her husband, Jiang Senshan work in Beijing, but they were visiting their hometown when the arrest happened.

CAA said it also learned that two other house church leaders in Anhui province were arrested, including Pastor Chen Jiaxi of Chencun village in Wuhu county, who was arrested January 4, 2007 "for distributing free bibles and other Christian literature to house church members."


His relative told a CAA contact that pastor Chen will be put on trial soon on charges of "illegal business management." If convicted he could face up to three years imprisonment. Earlier in October last year Pastor Chen was already reportedly jailed for organizing what authorities described as an "illegal religious gathering". It added that 42 days later, he was released without charge and forced to pay 12000Yuan (US$1500).

In addition Pastor Chen Lianmin of Ma An Shan city was detained February 23 for leading a Bible study class with some high school students, CAA said. "He was released recently but his computer and other Christian literatures were confiscated."

The arrests come amid concerns among Communist Party officials about the spread of Christianity in China, BosNewsLife established. Some officials recently suggested there are about 130-million Christians in China, 50-million more than previous estimates. Most of them are believed to worship in the 'underground' house churches as they do not want to gather in the Communist approved denominations. (With BosNewsLife Research and reporting from China).

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