Chinese House Church Alliance targeted by authorities
Photo from China Aid
Voice of the Martyrs Canada reports that authorities have targeted Pastor Zhang Mingxuan and other underground Christians in the Henan province. Believers were targeted after a recent government release called for elimination of the Chinese House Church Alliance. Believers' possessions were confiscated, and Mingxuan has been detained by authorities, reports MNN.
Pastor Zhang, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, was arrested early in the morning on November 30; four officers were sent to detain him. When authorities demanded that he sign a Ministry of Civil Affairs statement, Mingxuan refused.
Mingxuan's wife was also detained but later released. Pastor Zhang remains in retention.
Shortly after Mingxuan's arrest, seventeen believers worshipping at Pastor Zhang's residence were also apprehended, as was an American journalist and his translator. The believers were photographed, forced to sign documents and their possessions were confiscated, including cell phones, computers, magazines and over 600 Bibles. Later the Christians were released, and the journalist and his translator were escorted by officials to an airplane leaving for Beijing.
More Christians are imprisoned in China than in any other country in the world. The only legal churches are those strictly controlled by the Chinese government; house churches risk being labeled as "evil cults." Such a designation can result in closure of the church, confiscation of property and charges against the leadership, often resulting in torture, imprisonment and death.
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