Christians in Southwestern Chinese town of Huaguan have responded to the forceful closure of their house Church and arrest of three of its members with prayer request to believers around the world.
U.S.based ChinaAid International reported Friday that the Chinese authorities closed down a Christian Church of Huaguan, a house church in Huaguan town in Nanbu county, Sichuan province in Southwestern part of China; the authorities accused the “Christians of being a cult, Falun Gong and a reactionary organization.” They had also arrested three church members on 29 June, the news release said.
Since then, ChinaAid said the house church members have faced heavy persecution and are asking Christians around the world for prayer.
“We hereby request the brothers and sisters to pray for the expansion of the Gospel in the disaster areas of Sichuan, and we implore God to give us His wisdom and strength while dealing with these rulers!” stated a statement from to the international community by the Christian Church of Huaguan Town.
ChinaAid reported that the church service started in 2002 in a member's house, and has been gathering at a Church building built with the help of Christians from another province - Zhejiang since August 2006. On March 23, 2009 the church was raided by six Public Security Bureau (PSB) and government officers who confiscated both the property of the church and a check with more than 10,000 Yuan which was the believers' offerings, ChinaAid reported.
The PSB officers covered the Chinese characters “God Loves the World” on the top of the gate with iron plates. Authorities accused the Christians of being a cult, Falun Gong and a reactionary organization.
Three church leaders, Mr. Chai Yongwen, Ms.Yang Huimin and Mr. Ma Deyan, were taken away for interrogation. Later, Mr. Cai Yongwen received 15 days of administrative detention, and Ms. Yang Huimin received five days of administrative detention, it said.
ChinaAid said it is also calling upon Christians around the world to contact the Chinese embassy in their respective countries and ask that Christians of the Christian Church of Huaguan Town be allowed to meet freely.
Contact page of Chinese embassies around the world can be found at www.fmprc.gov.cn
CP Asia Correspondent