270 House Church Pastors Detained For Alleged Illegal Religious Gathering [Excerpts]
China Aid Association has learned that 270 House Church Pastors have been detained for what Chinese officials are calling an “illegal religious gathering”.
On December 7 at 1:30pm, House Church pastors in Hedeng District, Linyi City, were gathered for a Bible Study, when their meeting was disrupted by police officials. According to Pastor Li, an eyewitness, 12 police cars and 40-50 policemen from 12 different towns were involved in the massive detention. The pastors were handcuffed two-by-two and taken to the local police station for questioning. As of this morning 120-150 pastors remain in custody. The others have been released on a Y300 ($40) interrogation fee.
The humiliation these pastors received by being led away in handcuffs as common criminals, for attending a Bible study is an unjustifiable act of religious persecution. In addition, the large scale and high profile of the detentions shows the apathy of Chinese officials in moving towards a policy for toleration of religious freedom. Behavior unbecoming of the World’s host for the Olympic games in 2008.