BEIJING, CHINA -- Since the end of the Olympic Games, ChinaAid Association (CAA) has received reports of intensified religious persecution from across China.
In an e-mail update on the situation Christians face in that country, CAA says that in Beijing, Pastor "Bike" Zhang Mingxuan and his family members have been evicted from their home, beaten and arrested.
The e-mail press release says that in Heilongjiang province, one city called Yichun recently banned all of the house churches. In Yunnan province, some house church members were attacked right after the Olympics. In Shandong province, Pastor Zhang Zhongxin was sentenced to two years of re-education through labor, and after the Olympics his appeal was denied. Pastor Zhang's lawyer, Li Fangping, was refused permission to meet with him because authorities claim Pastor Zhang could endanger state security.
In another shocking new discovery, ChinaAid says it has learned that 29 house church leaders have been serving time in labor camp and prisons in Henan province since July 9, 2007. They are accused of being "evil cult" members.
Among the 29 house church leaders, 21 are being held in No. 3 Prison of Henan province. One leader was released in September 2008. The other seven house church members belong to a house church group in Lingbao city that is part of the "Born Again Movement."
CAA explains they were sentenced by the court as "evil cult" members on July 9, 2007. One leader was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, which is the harshest sentence against a house church leader in recent years besides Pastor Zhang Rongliang who was sentenced to seven and a half years in 2004 for allegedly "attempting to illegally cross the border and forgery of an official document."