Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 22:12:47 -0500 (CDT)
From: (Dr. Jai Maharaj)
Subject: CHINA: 30 Christian Leaders Arrested In Henan Province
Organization: Mantra Corporation
Article: 73838
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <>

30 Protestant leaders arrested in Henan Province

AFP, Thursday 26 August 1999

GENEVA, Aug 26, 1999—(Agence France Presse) More than 30 Chinese Protestant church leaders were arrested on Monday as they met in a house west of Tanghe, in the southwest of China's Henan province, the non-governmental organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported on Wednesday.

CSW said that national security officers took part in the arrest and interrogation of the men and women who had come together for an evangelical meeting.

It added that the Chinese government regarded house church leaders as organizers of cults and that the arrests were a renewed effort by the Chinese authorities to target religious believers, following the clampdown on illegal religious cults and the campaign against the Falungong group.

CSW said that house church leaders generally had no interest in politics. Saturday Chinese police arrested eight people who minister at Christian home church services, a Hong Kong-based dissident group said.

The Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said in a faxed statement that 20 police officers burst in as a group of Christians were preparing to hold a meeting at the suburban home of Zhao Delong in northern Wugang city on Wednesday evening.

They arrested Zhao and seven others who minister in the neighboring cities of Xiping and Xincai.

All eight face re-education through labor on charges of illegal assembly, the center said, quoting family members who made inquiries with the authorities.

The center said it had recorded 233 Christianity-related arrests in the province of Henan—a hotbed of the faith's growth—since October.

Since reforms loosening controls on religion began at the end of the 1970s, the total number of Protestants and Roman Catholics in China has risen from two million to 50 million, the center said.

Growth has been fastest among participants in home church services, who alone number 40 million, it estimated.

But home church services alarm the ruling Communist Party, which requires all religious practice to take place through officially registered churches, temples and mosques.

According to official figures, there are 10 million Protestants and four million Catholics in state-recognized churches.

Fearing nominally religious organizations and gatherings will become a base for a political opposition, Beijing imposes controls on clerics.