China Persecution Report Names Henan Province as Worst Offender

A Chinese Christian human rights group released a report on Sunday listing the main persecution in different provinces in China during a 12-month period and concluding that Henan Province is the worst persecution offender.

China Aid Association listed persecution events from May 2005-May 2006 showing that at least 1,958 Chinese house church pastors and Christians in 15 provinces were arrested. According to the report, in Henan province, 823 pastors and believers were arrested in 11 raids from July 2005 to May 2006.

“Henan province should be put on notice having the worst religious persecution record,” said the Rev. Bob Fu, president of CAA. “It is morally imperative for any conscientious foreign investors in Henan to address this serious issue.”

The term Chinese House Church refers to congregations in China that refused to join the officially recognized Three-Self Church. House churches are independent and usually operate underground.

According to the report, Xinjiang had 5 raids and 254 arrests; Jilin had two raids and 640 arrests; Beijing had 4 raids and three arrests; Hunan 1 raid and 10 arrested; and Shanghai had 1 raid and 1 arrest. The report also provided a short description of the event and time of the raids.

The report also mentioned the case of well-known Beijing house church leader Cai Zhuohua. The house church pastor had printed thousands of copies of Bibles and other Christian literature and was sentenced to serve three years in prison. CAA pointed out that Cai’s case is an example of Chinese officials’ attempt to maintain control over religious publications.

The report admits that there is in no way the list can be considered complete because of the “difficulties in obtaining the details.”