Presbyterian Federation of Beijing calls for prayer
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
HEILONGJIANG AND SHANDONG (ANS) -- The persecution of churches in Heilongjiang and Shandong has recently resurfaced, breaking up the brief quiet after the Chinese New Year.
According to a story by the China Aid Association, Christian gatherings were raided, attendees harassed, a pastor was beaten, and missionaries detained.
China Aid said the Presbyterian Federation of Beijing has made an urgent appeal for prayers for the persecuted church in Heilongjiang, and for assistance in hiring lawyers to intervene. Prominent Christian Lawyer Li Fangping has agreed to represent the church in this case.
China Aid said at about 7 p.m. on Feb. 19, two police officers from Youhao District of Yichun City of Heilongjiang suddenly broke into Youhao Church.
Under the guise of fire-code compliance inspection, they viciously harassed the members who were serving at the church.
The senior pastor, Sister Sun Wenxian, said that the officers didn't give any acceptable reasons for their action. Further, one of the officers had a strong smell of liquor and appeared drunk. state.
China Aid said Pastor Sun Wenxian told the officers off for their questionable conduct, and demanded that they show their identification papers. As a result, the two police officers became furious and called her nasty names and threatened to seal off Youhao Church.
In addition, they became physically violent and beat her. During the fracas, Pastor Sun Wenxian was injured so severely, both mentally and physically, that she had a heart attack.
Sister Hao, who serves in the church, told China Aid that during this time they called for police a number of times but none came.
China Aid said in comparison, these two police officers called, and within five minutes a large group of agents from Domestic Security Protection Squad (DSPS) of the Public Security Bureau entered the courtyard of Youhao Church.
Sister Hao said that only when they saw Pastor Sun Wenxian was having a heart attack, they didn't dare to do whatever they may have initially planned.
China Aid said after that, Pastor Sun Wenxian was rushed to a local hospital for treatment, where she is reported in stable condition. In her telephone call, Pastor Sun Wenxian called on various churches to pray for Youhao Church and for the rulers.
Pastor Sun Wenxian after her ordination.
Currently, China Aid said, DSPS agents of Youhao District Public Security Bureau are assigned to stay at the hospital 24 hours a day. Pastor Sun Wenxian said, "In name, they are taking care of me. In fact, they are placing me under house arrest for fear that I would petition higher authorities and sue them."
For more information go to www.ChinaAid.org