Chinese Pastor's Son Regains Consciousness After Police Beatings

Monday, October 20, 2008

By BosNewsLife Asia Service

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife) -- The son of one of China's most well-known evangelists regained consciousness in a Bejing hospital Friday, October 17, a day after he was "severely beaten with iron bars" by Chinese security forces, friends said.

Zhang Jian, the oldest son of Pastor 'Bike' Zhang Mingxuan, was recovering in Beijing Min Hang (Aviation) Hospital, said China Aid Association (CAA), an advocacy group representing the family. CAA explained that he was rushed to hospital Thursday, October 16, after some 15 officers of the Public Security Bureau, China's main law enforcement agency, attacked him for some 25 minuted "with iron bars" in front of his mother's home.

"The family was then evicted and their furniture thrown into the street," CAA told BosNewsLife in a statement. It said it has been in constant communication with the family which it "facing severe persecution by the Chinese government."

Former Chinese house church Pastor Bob Fu, who now lives in the United States and leads CAA, said he spoke with Zhang Jian early Friday, October 17. "He is still in very serious condition. His right eye is severely wounded and doctors are not sure if he will regain his sight."

Fu said his nose and eyes are damaged and he quoted doctors as saying he needs further scans and surgery. However he left hospital Friday, October 17, despite his physical condition, as PSB officers were monitoring him there, Fu added. He was apparently afraid for his safety and went to his brother’s home.


However, "PSB officers followed him and warned Zhang Jian and his brother, Zhang Chuang, not to leave the apartment before October 20, the date of the celebration Pastor Bike organized for the third anniversary of the Chinese House Church Alliance," CAA said.

The group said it received several phone calls from house church leaders who claimed they were warned not to attend the Beijing celebrations of the Alliance, a major umbrella group of mushrooming house churches in China.

Police also targeted others, including Zhang Jian’s mother, who was ordered Friday, October 17 to take away furniture and personal items that officers threw into the street during Thursday's attack on the family, CAA said. "The family is struggling financially to pay for the hospital bills, food, shelter and legal help. CAA is working to send emergency help to Zhang Jian and his family."

Security forces reportedly also attempted to shut down the house church where Zhang Jian’s father preaches. On October 10, police allegedly sealed the door of the church and blocked it with two truckloads of garbage. Officials were seen blocking anyone wishing to enter, although on September 28, officials gave permission for the house church to meet. Authorities apparently also cut off electricity to the church.


The physical assault on Zhang Jian is "the most serious of recent attacks on" his family, CAA said.

During the past 22 years, Zhang Jian’s father, Pastor Bike, has reportedly been arrested 26 times, beaten and evicted from his home numerous times, because of his Christian faith and evangelistic activities.

Despite the reported persecution, the family has continued to openly preach and help house church Christians.

China's government has denied wrongdoing, saying Chinese Christians are free to worship in the government backed denominations, but not in groups deemed ilegal or dangerous to society. Christians comprise as many as 130 million people in China, the word's fastest growing Christian community, according to officials.

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