(Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia – Oct. 19, 2011) Chinese police and religious affairs officials last month shut down a Christian students fellowship group in Inner Mongolia and administratively detained its leader for 15 days, in China’s ongoing persecution of house churches and any Christian group that meets outside government-approved churches.
According to the banning order and detention papers obtained by China Aid Association, the local police and the Bureau of Minority and Religious Affairs of Ulanqab’s Jining district banned the Mengfu (Blessed) Fellowship in mid-September and put its leader, Liang Guangzhong, into administrative detention for 15 days. The reason was “illegal evangelism.”
The Sept. 15 ban (above) issued by the religious affairs bureau said that Liang, a native of Henan province’s Qi county, had “established an illegal religious organization, the Mengfu Fellowship, at the Mengfu Yanxin Bookstore and Café, in … the vicinity of the Jining Teachers College [to engage in] illegal evangelism …. We hereby order both these activity centers to be shut down and confiscate the funds and goods that were used in the carrying out of these illegal activities: 2110 yuan (US$331) from the offering collection box, and a notebook computer, a projector, a camera, a stereo system, and 17 video tapes, all of which were used in the illegal activities of preaching and teaching the Bible.”
The Sept. 17 police order (see left) that was signed for by Liang’s relative Yang Qiying said that “Liang Guangzhong has harmed society by fraudulently using the name of religion.” He was ordered detained at the Jining District Administrative Detention Center from Sept. 17 to Oct. 2.
The Mengfu Fellowship has already hired a Christian lawyer to formally request a review of the orders by the two government organs.
ChinaAid expresses its regret and condemnation of this incident and will closely follow the developments in this case. What’s baffling is that, on the one hand, the Chinese government spends a great deal of money to bring a Chinese Bible exhibit to tour the United States in an attempt to show that Christians in China enjoy freedom of religion, while on the other hand, it continues to persecute Christians in China who want to worship in their own churches and groups. This kind of hypocrisy is bound to surprise our American friends.