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Church members beaten after asking officials to account for burning of Bibles

.- China Aid Association has learned that members of a House Church in Yunan Province were severely beaten by police officials on the morning of January 23. The incident occurred after two church members walked into the Xishan District's Public Security Bureau office to request an account of the items, including Bibles, that were taken from the church and burned by police officials in early December of 2007.

After ignoring the members’ request, officials proceeded to violently remove them from the office. One female church member, 54-year-old Ms. Liang Guihua, was thrown into a wall and rendered unconscious for more than 10 minutes.

Later that day, one of the Church’s members returned to the police station later that afternoon to request an account of the morning's incident. The official on duty told the member that he would not testify to the incident even though he had witnessed the account first-hand. 
 
The series of events originated on December 5, 2007, when policemen and members of the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs disrupted the house church meeting in Kunming, and detained several members. After searching the building, police seized several hundred Christian books including Bibles and note-pads, and proceeded to burn them outside of the residence. Police also destroyed the identification cards of three of the church members and instructed the landlord of the building to cease rental agreements with the congregation.
 
Chinese law requires officials to issue certificates documenting items taken during seizures. The church members have requested documentation of the items on several occasions, but have been turned away by police officials every time.

We urge the international community to demand an accounting of these officials for the egregious acts committed against the house church members in Yunan Province, the China Aid Association said.


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