Chinese Christians Start Hunger Strike to Protest Arrest of Fellow Christians
Thousands of Christians in eastern China initiated a hunger strike to protest against the communist regime arresting over fifty Christians in Hangzhou City on July 29. As reported on the BBC Chinese website, a Christian in Beijing disclosed that he had visited Christians being detained because of their involvement in a conflict with the Communist regime.
The Christians declared in a statement, “we urge all the brothers and sisters to start a hunger strike and also to pray for our fellow Christians who are detained. Please urge the government to release them as soon as possible.”
The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights & Democracy said, on July 29, in Dangshan Town, Xiaoshan District of Hangzhou City, about five hundred policemen forcibly demolished a church that was under construction. The police clashed with over three thousand Christians. About twenty protesters were injured, four of them seriously.
However, the official newspaper Hongzhou Daily reported that “a small number of people with ulterior motives instigated some people who didn't know the truth”. The paper claims that before any application for land use was approved, the group built an illegal building on a piece of land that was collectively rented by farmers. The building's lot size was 3.99 mu (about 2600 sq m), with construction area of about 820 square meters.
According to another official news agency – the Xinhua News Agency, on the afternoon of July 29, employees from the local land management and construction development offices forcibly demolished this building. Two ringleaders of this event were detained by authorities. The official version says that “during the whole process, there was no clash or injury.”
An anonymous official from the local police department, while being interviewed by a French news agency, said, “the communist regime is handling this event. This church is an 'illegal' building, without approval from the government or Bureau of Religious Affairs. Therefore, this building must be demolished.”
This official denied the reported number of people involved in the conflict. He also denied the detention of any Christians. He said the communist regime didn't detain any of those people. He added that these people could freely express their request, but that if they disturbed public order or violated rules, the communist regime would handle them through due legal process.