China (MNN) — Voice of the Martyrs Canada reports that authorities
have targeted Pastor Zhang Mingxuan and other underground Christians in the Henan
province. Believers were targeted after a recent government release called for elimination
of the Chinese House Church Alliance. Believers'
possessions were confiscated, and Mingxuan has been detained by authorities.
Pastor Zhang, president of the Chinese House Church
Alliance, was arrested early in the morning on November 30; four officers were
sent to detain him. When authorities demanded that he sign a Ministry of Civil
Affairs statement, Mingxuan refused.
Mingxuan's wife was also detained but
later released. Pastor Zhang remains in retention.
Shortly after Mingxuan's arrest, seventeen believers
worshipping at Pastor Zhang's residence were also apprehended, as was an
American journalist and his translator. The believers were photographed, forced
to sign documents and their possessions were confiscated, including cell
phones, computers, magazines and over 600 Bibles. Later the Christians were
released, and the journalist and his translator were escorted by officials to
an airplane leaving for Beijing.
More Christians are imprisoned in China than in any other country
in the world. The only legal churches are those strictly controlled by the
Chinese government; house churches risk being labeled as "evil cults." Such a
designation can result in closure of the church, confiscation of property and charges
against the leadership, often resulting in torture, imprisonment and death.
Please pray for Pastor Zhang, and ask God to protect him
during his imprisonment.