Also in Henan province, seven house church leaders in Pingdingshan have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to 7-1/2 years in prison on cult charges.
In Nanyang, the raid by police, Domestic Security Protection agents and officials from the Religious Affairs Bureau occurred on Saturday morning, just hours after the start of what had been planned as a three-day revival meeting, with attendees from the city of Wenzhou and the provinces of Hubei and Henan, as well as house church believers from some other places.
Also at the meeting was Dennis Balcombe from Hong Kong Revival Chinese Ministries International and two of its woman employees. ChinaAid's source about the raid said that when he and the local church leaders left, Balcombe and his co-workers were still being held by police under house arrest.
When the 70 revival meeting attendees gathered on Saturday morning, they all handed over their cell phones to a designated person from the organizing church. This was a security precaution to prevent the phones becoming tracking devices that would lead authorities to their meeting site. They then boarded a bus to the meeting venue at a retreat center in the Wolong district of the city of Nanyang.
At about 10 a.m., not long after the meeting began, several dozen police, Domestic Security Protection agents and religious affair bureau officials swarmed into the room. Without showing any identification, they began filming and photographing the event. When one of the attendees tried to take videos of them with his digital camera, it was confiscated from him and had not been returned at the time of this report.
The Domestic Protection Security agents said they needed to check on some things in the room, then proceeded to finger print and palm print each person at the meeting. Each person was also interrogated, while a written record of the questioning was taken, and each person also had to sign police documents.
Also in Henan, seven house church leaders were sentenced on April 1 to prison sentences ranging from three to 7-1/2 years, according to the well-known Christian lawyer Li Baiguang. Their defense lawyers received the verdict and sentencing papers just last week.
Those who were sentenced were:
Hu Linpo, seven year sentence, from Singapore, male, aged 49, the house church's main preacher, was detained in 1989 for 30 days. Criminally detained on April 18 and is now held in the Ye County Detention Center.
Yang Lianbin, four-year sentence, male, aged 23, working in Zhengzhou. Now held in the Ye County Detention Center.
Zhang Mian, three-year sentence, female, aged 37, owner of the residence where the church meets. Criminally detained on April 20, now held in the Pingdingshan Detention Center.
Cao Xia, 3-1/2-year sentence, female, in her 50s, owner of another residence where the church meets. Police seized from her home CDs of Hu Linpo preaching and a computer used to make copies of the sermon CDs. Police also confiscated a Chinese-made Liebao SUV parked outside Cao's home that belonged to a Christian man who was there to listen to the preaching. Cao was criminally detained on April 20 and is now held in the Pingdingshan Detention Center.
Wang En, three-year sentence, female, in her 20s, taken from Cao Xia's home, said to have helped make copies of Preacher Hu's sermon CDs. Held in the Ye County Detention Center.
Li Dan, three-year sentence, female, in her 20s, taken from Cao Xia's home, probably for copying CDs. Held in the Pindingshan Detention Center.
ChinaAid is shocked at this incident and will monitor developments in this case closely.