China Aid Association reports Christian leaders deported; tortured

.- On Wednesday, the China Aid Association (CAA) announced numerous reports of Christians being deported from China and one church pastor being severely tortured. The group reported that, “at least 10 foreign evangelical church leaders including 8 Americans, one Taiwanese and an unknown number of South Koreans were detained and later deported by the Chinese authorities on February 25, 2005.”

In addition, CAA cited an eyewitness account of the torture of imprisoned Beijing House Church leader pastor Zhuohua Cai. 

According to a CAA statement, “around 11am on February 24, over 100 Chinese security officers from five different government agencies raided an office building used as a temporary house church leadership training site in the suburb of Harbin city, the capital of Heilongjiang province, one of the major cities in northeastern China.”

About 140 Chinese house church leaders from 7-8 provinces were attending church fellowship training”, the statement said.

On the morning of the 25th, after 13 hours of detention and interrogation, all of the foreigners were ordered to leave the country within the next 3-5 days.

CAA added that among those detained were, well-known American church leaders Rev. Dr. Brad Long and Rev. and Mrs. John & Susan Chang. Rev. Dr Brad Long, from North Carolina and New York, respectively.

It is believed that all of the detained Americans had returned home by March 1st.

In addition, some 140 Chinese house church leaders were detained, interrogated and then released at about 2am on the 25th after giving their home addresses and House Church affiliations to authorities, along with their finger prints.

CAA understood the raid to have been “orchestrated by the director of the Public Security Bureau of Heilongjiang province and carried out jointly by the officers from the provincial public security, national security, foreign affairs office, religious affairs bureau and military police office.”

Tortured pastor

On Wednesday, CAA also announced news from what they call a “reliable source” that prominent Beijing House church leader pastor Zhuohua Cai had been severely tortured by his captors.

Cai, who was arrested by Beijing’s National Security on September 11th of 2004 for his publication of “illegal religious literatures,” was reportedly “tortured for a confession with electric cattle prods by his interrogators.”

Cai’s wife, along with her brother and sister-in-law were also arrested on September 27th.

CAA’s president Bob Fu, commented that, "To disrupt a normal Christian fellowship meeting and to detain and deport the participants of the same faith from other countries is certainly contrary to the government's claim to guarantee religious freedom in China."

"To torture an innocent pastor like Cai for false confessions”, he added, “is a direct violation of the international human rights law. We urge people of all faiths to take action to protest the deportations of these pastors and demand pastor Cai and his wife's immediate release."

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