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China: Authorities torture three Christian defendants during house arrest

For background on Orthodox Christianity in China, see here.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“Defendants From Xi’an Church of Abundance Case Tortured During House Arrest,” by Yu Bing, China Aid, February 27, 2023:

(Xi’an, Shaanxi province—February 27, 2023) On the morning of February 22, attorneys learned that authorities tortured the three defendants in the Xi’an Church of Abundance case. All three were recently transferred from residential surveillance at a designated location (RSDL) to a detention center for a baseless “fraud” charge.

Xi’an police arrested three members of the Church of Abundance in August 2022, namely pastors Lian Changnian and Lian Xuliang with church coworker Fu Juan. The case is part of mounting persecution from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) targeting house church Christians as reported by ChinaAid’s Annual Persecution Report.

According to a verbal account by Pastor Lian Changnian, authorities tortured him for a confession while in RSDL. Police threatened to hit and not feed his son, Lian Xuliang. They would intimidate his family if he refused to answer police’s questions or if his answers were unsatisfactory. Pastor Lian Changnian witnessed them beating his son. However, he forgot what happened before they beat his son because he inhaled a mysterious smoke in the room. The smoke he was exposed to became more intense before he was interrogated so that his eyes watered, but he could not weep. Authorities banned Pastor Lian Changnian from using the restroom for 27 hours as they threatened him to testify falsely.

His son Pastor Lian Xuliang had a separate account. According to him, the police hit him seven or eight times. They even took pictures after the first beating. He wasn’t provided normal food in the first month of RSDL; they gave him one bun and half a glass of water for each meal.

Fu Juan, a coworker of Xi’an Church of Abundance Church, was tortured for confession as well. Police filmed her confession but moved the camera each time they hit her. They threatened her many times during RSDL.

Xi’an Church of Abundance is affiliated with China Gospel Fellowship, a national house church originating in Tanghe region, Henan province. China Gospel Fellowship is one of the most developed house church networks in the nation with hundreds of pastors and several dozen missionary teams. Chinese authorities have persecuted and cracked down China Gospel Fellowship for years….

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