to be released. UK-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide told BosNewsLife that it will ask all churches in the United Kingdom to sign up to the campaign aimed at winning the release of Li Ming, Jin Jirong, Wang Yuan and Li Mingbo who were arrested in June.
They had visited the local police station to try to secure the release of 14 of their church members who had been arrested on their way home from church, several
66-year-old Pastor Jin Jirong was allegedly beaten by the police. "Soon after, more police arrived and Pastor Li Ming was also assaulted. When Li Ming cried out "You are killing me" the police tried to choke him in order to get him to be quiet," CSW said.
"They then bundled him into a police car and transferred him to a detention centre. Pastor Wang Yuan was also beaten until he was not able to move. He could not stop vomiting and needed medical treatment. However, the police said he was feigning illness and sent him to the detention centre," added CSW. So far Chinese officials have not reacted to the allegations. But in the past the Chinese government has denied human rights abuses.
In July, the four pastors were sentenced to 2 years “re-education through labor”. They are currently imprisoned in Langzhong Detention Center. The Director of the detention center has been reported to have said that it was "built for Christians", CSW claimed.
The four men have not been allowed to read the Bible since they were sent to the detention centre, CSW and other groups said.
"The officers even forbade them from using biblical terms when they communicated with their families. However, through their lawyers, they are demanding their right to read the Bible in the detention center and asking that a suitable place inside the detention center be provided for regular Sunday services," explained CSW.
CSW National Director Stuart Windsor said the four men "are likely to face twelve to eighteen hours hard labor each day, as well as mental and physical punishment."
He said that "despite their hardship, they are still asking for the right to read their Bibles and to meet together. We are urging churches across the UK to stand in solidarity with these four brave men by joining the campaign calling for their release." There are up to 80 million Christians in China, and the Communist government is concerned about the spread of Christianity outside the official churches, Chinese Christians and other sources say. (With reports from China).