China’s Communist Regime Builds False Fraud Case Against Detained Pastor of House Church

FILE PHOTO: A believer reads the bible during mass at St. Joseph’s Church, a government-sanctioned Catholic church, in Beijing, China, October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

A rights lawyer says he thinks authorities in Guiyang in China’s Guizhou Province are working to build a trumped-up fraud case against Zhang Chunlei, the pastor of a Christian house church who was illegally detained last month.

Chinese rights lawyer Sui Muqing told The Epoch Times that Zhang’s wife, Yang Aiqing, was taken away by police around noon on April 21 after being subpoenaed, along with Zhang’s son and younger brother. Zhang’s son and brother were released the same day, while Yang was detained in handcuffs and shackles for 24 hours before her release, Sui says.

At great personal risk, Sui and other human rights lawyers who are concerned about the case visited Yang on April 24 and learned from her that she had been interrogated for several hours.

“She was given a criminal summons on the charge of fraud but the questions during the [police] interrogation were all about spiritual beliefs and church operations. There were no questions about fraud at all, and, in fact, it was something that was not mentioned at all,” Sui told The Epoch Times.

“Yang was handcuffed and fettered. This is very bad, because her situation does not constitute a crime. Even if it constitutes a crime, it is not necessary. She is a delicate woman and not a dangerous criminal. Generally speaking, handcuffs and shackles are for dangerous criminals and those who refuse to be summoned. It is an act of police abusing their power.”

On March 16, Zhang, local Christian believers, and several Christians visiting from other regions were praying and studying their scripture in a room at the Wenzhou Hotel rented by the church, when the facility was raided by police.

Three local Christians—Chen Jianguo, Li Jinzhi, and Li Lin—and 10 visiting Christians were taken to the Yan’an Middle Road Police Station, the organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported.

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SOURCE: The Epoch Times, Alex Wu

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