BEIJING (AP) – An underground Protestant leader has been sentenced to two years in a labor camp as China cracks down on unapproved churches that are getting bolder in confronting government religious policy, a U.S.-based monitoring group said Tuesday.
The expansion and growing influence of unofficial churches has unsettled China’s rulers, always suspicious of any independent social group that could challenge Communist authority.
China Aid Association said Pastor Shi Enhao, 55, was sentenced over the weekend for organizing illegal religious gatherings. He had been detained June 21 in the eastern city of Suqian in Jiangsu province.
Labor camp sentences are handed out without trial on the recommendation of police and can be extended beyond the usual two-year term.
Shi’s church was also ordered to cease meeting and its car, cash donations, musical instruments and even choir robes were seized by police, said China Aid, and based in Midland, Texas.
China’s officially atheistic ruling Communist Party claims to protect freedom of worship and authorities usually refuse to comment on prosecutions against religious figures.
Local officials with the Suqian police and with the government’s Religious Affairs Bureau said they knew of no such case.
Shi is a deputy chairman of the Chinese House Church Alliance, a national group of underground congregations established to provide mutual support and intercede with authorities who routinely threaten and harass unofficial churches.
China Aid said Shi’s son, Shi Yongyang, was forced to sign a document confirming his father’s sentencing, but was not provided with the required copy in an apparent attempt to downplay news of the sentence.
FYI: “Illegal Religious Gatherings” in China means that he had prayer and worship services in his house.
So let’s see we have:
1) No Trial
2) All Church materials seized by the police
4) Son forced to sign document saying “I Love this Idea of the Government crushing my freedom to worship, yes please horsewhip me again.”
One has to ask, how long until this spreads over here to the US? How long until the ADHD Drug Addled Progressive Politicians and their Brethren will throw People who worship Jesus into a “Labor Camp” for holding an “Illegal Religious Gathering”. How long until downloading Sermons or reading the Bible on the internet is considered as heinous offense comparable to having Kiddie Porno?
Though in a Progressive Society Kiddie Porno would probably be required viewing.
Yes, it can happen and it needs to be stopped. Dump Obama and his Progressive Minions into the sewer on Election Day 2012.