Three Christians Detained in Unknown Location

Police in China

The Church of Abundance in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, issued a public prayer letter on October 17th, stating that two pastors and another believer have been in custody for 60 days. Since being detained, the Christians have not been heard from.

On August 17th, police detained Pastor Lian Changnian on charges of alleged fraud. He was then placed under "residential surveillance" along with Pastor Lian Xuliang and Sister Fu Juan. According to authorities, the pastors were detained in their own residences, but family members have no idea where they are currently being held. Fu Juan's location is also unknown, and her husband has not received an official notice of her arrest. According to church members, several female congregants have been summoned by the authorities since mid-August. Some of these believers were abused, threatened and beaten by police officers.

According to lawyers, "residential surveillance" is supposed to be a form of detention in which an individual is confined to their own residence. However, those accused can be held in other locations if there are national security risks or concerns of terrorist activities. Since no answers have been forthcoming, it is unknown what claims the authorities are making about the detained Christians.

Religious advocates have raised concerns about the recent election of Xi Jinping as president of China for a third term. Under his leadership, China has become increasingly oppressive towards those who disagree with the ruling party's Communist views. Many believe that President Xi is leading the country back to the repressive policies originally instituted by Mao Zedong, reversing any reforms and openness previously enacted. Speaking of the re-election, Bob Fu from ChinaAid warned: "The international community will have to prepare for the continuing acceleration of the worsening record on human rights abuses and religious persecution under Xi's new Cultural Revolution." For more information on the persecution facing Christians in China, go to our country report.

Pray that these detained Christians will soon be released unharmed and reunited with their loved ones. In the meantime, as concerned family members await news of the believers' whereabouts, may each one of them be filled with the Lord's reassuring peace and comfort. Additionally, please prayerfully remember the many other Christians throughout China who are experiencing various forms of relentless oppression by repressive governmental forces.

  • Current Ministry Projects

    The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians in the country, making it possible for them to have their own printed version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, while presenting ways to effectively respond and minister within the context of hostility.

    Project Funds: Underground Church, Bible, Relief & Development

  • Country Information

    1,413,142,846 (2023 est.)

    Ethnicity (%)
    Han Chinese (91.1), ethnic minorities (8.9 - includes Zhang, Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai, and other nationalities) (2021 est.)

    Religion (%)
    Folk religion (21.9), Buddhist (18.2), Christian (5.1), Muslim (1.8), Hindu (< 0.1), Jewish (< 0.1), other (0.7 - includes Daoist [Taoist]), unaffiliated (52.1) (2021 est.)

    President Xi Jinping (2013)

    Government type
    Communist party-led state

    Legal system
    Based on civil law system; influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems

    Sources: CIA World Factbook

  • Pray for China

    Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout China without government interference so many more names can be added to the Lamb's "Book of Life." May there also be a spirit of unity demonstrated among the country's growing churches, further strengthening existing believers and spurring them on in their ministry service and evangelistic outreach within the country's numerous communities.

China News

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    Chen Wensheng is smiling.
    Chen Wensheng
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Chen Wensheng is no stranger to arrests and police intimidation. A radically reformed former drug addict, the Christian evangelist has travelled throughout China to share his testimony, gaining the nickname of "Gospel Warrior." (See these other reports about this faithful believer.)

  • New Health Concerns for Elder Zhang Chunlei
    Zhang Chunlei with his wife
    Elder Zhang Chunlei and his wife
    Photo: ChinaAid

    Zhang Chunlei is an elder with the Ren'ai Reformed Church in Guiyang, China. He was detained in March 2021 and remained in detention without charge until his trial in November 2022, when he was accused of "inciting subversion of state power." The trial was held in secret, without any witnesses, and a verdict has never been announced since then. In the meantime, Elder Zhang continues to remain imprisoned. (Review previously published reports about this church leader's case.)

  • Persistent Harassment Against Church Deacons
    Ding Shuqi and Jia Xuewei
    Jia Xuewei (right) with his friend, Ding Shuqi
    Photo: ChinaAid

    In 2018, the Early Rain Covenant Church was violently raided by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities, resulting in multiple arrests. Since then, members of the church have continued to face harassment, including a church deacon named Jia Xuewei. Click here for previous reports on Jia's situation.

  • High Security for Trial
    Chen Wensheng is smiling.
    Evangelist Chen Wensheng
    Photo: ChinaAid

    The case of Chen Wensheng was heard by the Hengyang City Shigu District People's Court on April 18th. However, when Chen's relatives and friends arrived that morning to attend the trial, they found about 40 black-clad special force officers guarding the entrance of the court building. In addition, the entire street was blocked off under the pretext of performing a "drill" so that any supporters could be prevented from attending the trial. Despite aggressive actions by the police, Chen's supporters are reported to have demonstrated "patience and calmness."