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American Tourists Mistreated, Pastors Tortured & Church Ordered to Close

· August 8, 2005

CHINA: House Church Pastors Tortured in Prison & Shanghai House Church Faces Forced Closure

China Aid learned that more than 210 Chinese house church pastors and believers have been arrested in Hubei, Hebei and Henan Provinces since July 2005. Two American tourists in China were also mistreated in this most recent crackdown on a house church in Hubei Province.

On August 2, 2005, while two American tourists were preparing to have Christian fellowship with 41 Chinese House church pastors and believers at their host family’s home in Lutou Town, Zaoyang City, Hubei Province approximately 30 Chinese plain-clothed police officers rushed into the house.

According to several eyewitness reports, the two American theological students, believed to be from Westminster Theological Seminary Campuses in Texas and California, were handled very unprofessionally. One sustained injuries to his wrists after being handcuffed because he wanted to put his shoes on before he was forced into an unmarked police car.

The same day, the 41 Chinese pastors and believers from the evangelical South China Church were taken to No. 2 Zaoyang Prison. At the time of this report 30 had been released. The remaining eleven, including 38-year-old Ms. Wang Hua and 32-year-old Ms. Wang Xiao, as well as the hostess, Ms. Ren Daoyun, are still in prison.

According to eyewitness reports, many of them were tortured. Sixty-year-old Ms. Ren has been repeatedly beaten by Mr. Lei Youxin, the director of the prison. He kicked her, punched her face, and beat her head against the wall with a prison chair. One eyewitness told CAA that Ms. Ren’s mouth was bleeding and swollen.

Another 17 year-old evangelist Mr. He Baobao was hospitalized for a serious nose bleed due to the repeated beatings by his interrogators. (source: www.persecution.com/news/index.cfm?action=fullstory&newsID=331)

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