NEWS ALERT: American Missionaries Missing, Christians Detained In China

Monday, July 13, 2009

By Worthy News Asia Service

BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News) -- Two Chinese American missionaries were missing and at least four Christians remained detained Monday, July 13, following a police raid on a church in China's volatile Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region where a riot last week left 184 people dead, Christians said.

News of the police raid at Beitun House Church in the A'Ler Tai area of Xinjiang came as police shot and killed two Uighur men and wounded a third in the first official report of the use of firearms to quell unrest in the western, mainly Muslim region.

Advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA) said police raided the church July 3 and initially detained eight Christians, including apparently two American missionaries.

"Two have been released so far, [but] four believers are still being held in a detention center in an undisclosed location, and two Chinese American missionaries are missing." The names of the missionaries were not immediately released, apparently amid security concerns.


CAA said it has been difficult for Christians to contact the outside world. “Due to the riots that erupted on July 5, in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang...the government cut off all Internet and phone connections to the outside world.”

Clashes broke out this month between the Muslim Uighur community, who oppose Chinese rule, and Han Chinese and sporadic clashes have continued despite increased security forces in the region.

There have been concerns that Christians will be in the crossfire at a time when Chinese authorities are reportedly also cracking down on popular churches and house groups, amid concerns over the spread of Christianity in China.

CAA said it has urged supporters to “pray the violence will cease in Xinjiang, and that the love of Jesus Christ will bring peace and reconciliation between the Han Chinese and Uygurs.”


The group added that supporters can express concerns about the detention of Christians and the missing missionaries to government officials, including the Secretary of Chinese Communist Party Wulamujiang Abuducador who it said can be reached via phone number +86-998-2838702. The law office of Xinjiang People's Government can be reached via fax number: +86-991-2803800, CAA said.