Page 4, 5th December 2003

5th December 2003
Page 4
Page 4, 5th December 2003 — Chinese police hit Christians

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Organisations: APP, Chinese police
Locations: Weishan, Tianbao


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Chinese police hit Christians

RESIDENTS of a village of the Guangxi province of southern China has accused the local police of arresting people found in possession of Bibles, and sending them to forced labour camps, as part of a campaign to eradicate "illegal religious organisations".

A report containing the charges was sent by residents of the Xilin county to the APP news agency.

They say that during the night of April 27, around 40 police officers stormed the villages inhabited by Christians, searching homes for Bibles and other religious material.

The news was confirmed by the arrest reports, which indicate that three people of the villages of Weishan and Tianbao were taken from their homes and sentenced without trial to 18 months in a labour camp.

After several unsuccessful attempts, in late October the families of the detained people were able to visit them.

According to the Hong Kong-based Human rights information centre, the national campaign aimed at eliminating "illegal religious organisations" could end up affecting, directly or indirectly, 50 million Chinese. Religious communities in China are only tolerated if controlled by the government.

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