(Linfen, Shanxi—March 25, 2012) Linfen Church in Shanxi province, which was the victim of one of the most serious cases of religious persecution in recent years, is being dragged into court in a new round of persecution.
A hearing has been scheduled for April 2 in a case brought against the church by a worker who was owed wages for the construction of the newly built church that was demolished on Sept. 13, 2009 when 400 local police, government officials and hired thugs descended upon the church and clashed with hundreds of the 50,000 members of the Linfen church network who rushed to defend their church. Dozens were severely beaten, and more than 30 were hospitalized with critical injuries.
Five church leaders were sent to labor camps and five were given prison sentences.
Last August, brother Li Shuangping was released after serving two years of his labor camp sentence. Since his release, he has played a major role in stabilizing and growing the church. As a result, he has been the target of much harassment.
Recently, the local religious affairs bureau and the police got a construction worker who had participated in the Linfen church construction to bring a case against brother Li for owed wages. The church has acknowledged that an undetermined amount in wages is owed to the worker and has tried to pay him, but the worker has refused to take the payment and insisted on going to court.
ChinaAid expresses its dismay and condemnation that the Linfen Church, which has borne up under the persecution of the past two years, is being targeted once again. ChinaAid will closely monitor the developments in this case.
For background on the Linfen case, see http://www.chinaaid.org/2011/08/five-linfen-church-leaders-released.html
Source: China Aid, International Christian Concern