Twenty-Nine Chinese House Church Leaders Released

All 29 Chinese house church leaders that were arrested during a police raid Monday evening were released the next day, after intensive interrogations and heavy international media and U.S. government pressure for their release.

The house church leaders – which include Pastor Shen Yiping, the founder of the well-known house church group China Gospel Fellowship – were released at 4 P.M. after being held under arrest for a meeting about how to assist AIDS victims.

“We’ll continue our ministry to care for these poor AIDS victims.” said one of the released pastors, reported China Aid Association (CAA).

During the evening of Dec. 12, 100 church leaders gathered to discuss how the church could help a large group of peasants with AIDS when 40 police raided the house arresting 29 of the leaders and confiscating personal items.

Although officials released the Christian leaders, the Public Security Bureau of Xincai County refused to return the confiscated personal properties including three motor bicycles, personal Bibles, one cell phone, luggage, and a large number of blankets that had been taken on the same day as the arrest.

The leaders were reportedly in good spirits despite the security agents threats against future “illegal gatherings,” CAA reported.