Chinese Christian Family Beaten and Left in the Cold

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Voice of the Martyrs
January 7, 2003

At about 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 5, 2003, approximately 10 unidentified men burst into the home of Brother Hua Huiqi and his wife, Ju Mei in Beijing. Forcing all of the members of the household, including Hua's elderly parents, to lay on the floor, the attackers savagely beat the family, breaking one of the legs of Hua's 80-year-old father. They then confiscated all of the home's portable heaters, leaving the family to suffer from the cold of winter. It is believed that the intruders were either sent by the police or could even have been plain-clothes policemen. When Hua went to the police on Monday to request the return of the heaters, he was detained for several hours during which time he was beaten again. He did not receive the heaters. In a conversation with Ju Mei on Monday night, she told The Voice of the Martyrs that it was presently minus 14 degrees Celsius in Beijing.

The attack followed a peaceful protest by the family in the early hours of January 4, as they and other members of their neighbourhood objected to the cutting off of the electricity and water to their homes. Chinese authorities had taken this action when they were unable to obtain the names of various house church members from Hua when they learned that he had been responsible for collecting approximately 10,000 pieces of used clothing for distribution among poorer church members in the rural countryside.

Hua Huiqi is an active member of the house church movement in Beijing. His wife, Ju Mei was a fulltime evangelist before her marriage to Hua. They have one young daughter. Hua has been arrested and beaten several times because of his activities with the house church in China. They share their home with Hua's parents who are also Christians. Hua believes that these tactics are part of a campaign to drive him and his family out of their home into the streets, where they will be more susceptible to arrest and detention for vagrancy. Bob Fu, China analyst for The Voice of the Martyrs and a personal friend of this couple says, "It is such a tragedy that this family who only wanted to help families in need should now find themselves left beaten, cold, and potentially homeless in the winter weather. As we begin this New Year, we need to remember how much more we need to pray for the thousands of persecuted church brothers and sisters in China like the Hua family."

The Voice of the Martyrs urges Christians from around the world to remember Hua and his family in your prayers. Pray that God will protect and sustain them as they suffer the physical effects of the beating and the cold winter weather. Pray that they would know the reality of God's presence in the midst of affliction and fear. Pray that the church will be able to help them without interference from government authorities. Pray that God would soften the hearts of the Beijing authorities and lead them to repentance and even faith in Christ. Pray that Hua and his family will provide a positive and effective witness to Christ in their response to this situation.