Fenyang, Protestant pastor arrested for trip to Malaysia
An Yankui taken away by police after Sunday service along with one of his co-workers. His electronic devices siezed. His family: he was travelling with a valid passport and visa. Five people linked to the Reformed Church of Zion had already been arrested for the same reason in July.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - On November 21The Public Security Bureau of Fenyang (Shanxi) arrested An Yankui, minister of the Reformed Church of Zion for "illegally crossing" the border. The official communication was sent to the Protestant pastor's family two days after the detention, reports ChinaAid.
Together with his collaborator Zhang Chenghao, Rev. An is now detained in Fangshan County Jail. The arrest against them was triggered immediately after Sunday service at the pastor's home. The officers who took them into custody also took away all the electronic devices found in the home and some books.
According to the authorities, the Protestant minister violated the law by crossing the border to attend a religious conference in Malaysia. However, his family members specify that he traveled with a regular passport and the necessary visa.
In July, for the same reasons, police had arrested five other people linked to the Reformed Church of Zion: Zhang Ligong, Wang Runyun, Zhang Yaowen, Wang Shiqiang and Song Shoushan. The families of the five Christians say they have been repeatedly pressured by authorities to join religious organizations controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
Protestant sources say that the number of believers in China is around 100 million; other more sober sources stop at 60 million. In any case, the figure is much higher than that of the official bodies, which set it at 30 million.