U.S. group: 28 Chinese Christians detained in raid on service | VailDaily.com

U.S. group: 28 Chinese Christians detained in raid on service

SHANGHAI, China – Chinese authorities detained 28 Christians in a raid on an unauthorized church service at a private home, an overseas monitoring group said Friday.Three members of the non-denominational Protestant congregation, including the host and the presiding minister, still were being held, the Texas-based China Aid Association said.Some of the other Christians were released after paying $200 fines, the group said. Host Chen Xuelan, 58, Cao Yan, 55, and pastor Li Shunmin were being held at the Bayi prison in Henan’s Fugou township, the group said.Bayi prison had no listed phone number, and officers contacted at police headquarters in Fugou township and nearby Zhoukou city said they had no information about the reported raid. The officials declined to give their names because they weren’t authorized to speak to reporters.Chinese law does not allow Christians to worship outside Communist Party-controlled churches, although millions do so in underground congregations across much of the country.Those congregations, often called “house churches” because they gather in homes to avoid detection, are subject to frequent raids and alleged harassment and extortion from police.Police produced no identification or legal documentation during the May 28 raid, and confiscated Bibles and notebooks belonging to the congregation without issuing required receipts, the Texas group’s report said.It said two lawyers have agreed to take up the case.

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