Some Christian "house church" pastors and members continue to be severely persecuted in China. Pastor Zhang Mingxuan is chairman of the Federation House Church movement. On October 16th, his sons Zhang Jian and Zhang Chuang were brutally beaten, reportedly by up to 15 officers of China's Public Security Bureau.
According to the U.S.-based rights group China Aid Association, Zhang Jian was so severely wounded he may not regain his sight in one eye. Following the beating, the family was reportedly evicted from their apartment and their furniture thrown into the street.
On October 22nd, Pastor Zhang called his eldest son to say he was being detained by public security officers but was not allowed to say where or under what conditions he was being held, according to China Aid Association. Zhang's wife and sister also reportedly have been detained in a Beijing hotel.
Chinese officials have harassed members of the house church where Zhang Mingxuan preaches before. "During the past 22 years," said China Aid Association, "Pastor Zhang has been arrested 26 times, beaten and evicted from his home numerous times for his faith."
The United States is gravely concerned by the brutal beating of Pastor Zhang's two sons by public security officials. The U.S. is also concerned by the continuing official harassment of Pastor Zhang, including his arbitrary detention and the forced relocation of his family.
U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood called on "the government of China to immediately release Pastor Zhang and permit his family members to return home, to condemn the violent acts committed against his sons, and to bring to justice those individuals responsible for such acts."
The United States is concerned about a pattern of intimidation of religious freedom and rule of law advocates and their family members in China. It is incumbent on the Chinese government to honor its international human rights agreements that protect the rule of law, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion.