The severe beating of a prominent Chinese pastor's son Oct. 16 has been reported by China Aid Association, a human rights organization based in Washington.
Zhang Jian, the elder son of "Pastor Bike" Zhang Mingxuan, chairman of the Federation House Church movement, was beaten by officers of China's Public Security Bureau.
As reported by the China Aid Association, 15 PSB officers entered a residence where Zhang Jian was with his mother, Xie Fenglan, around noon Oct. 16. The officers secured the entrances to the residence "before severely beating Zhang Jian with iron bars for 25 minutes."
"As Zhang Jian lay bleeding profusely, his mother called an ambulance, but the receptionist told her that a higher government authority gave a directive not to dispatch any ambulance to rescue her son because he is related to Pastor Bike Zhang," China Aid reported.
"Zhang Jian's mother then called her younger son, Zhang Chuang, who rushed to the house where he was also beaten by the same authorities. After some time, a personal friend of the Zhang family was able to take Zhang Jian to the Beijing Min Hang (Aviation) Hospital emergency room where Zhang Jian remains now. His doctor said Zhang Jian's right eye may lose sight forever because of the severe damage resulting from the repeated beating.
"Pastor Bike Zhang, who was traveling in Yunnan province at the time, is currently unable to be contacted. It is assumed that he has been detained by authorities," China Aid Association.
China Aid also posted an extensive letter from Pastor Bike to "government officials at all levels," dated Oct. 7, recounting numerous instances in which he and his family have been denied housing from Sept. 21 through Oct. 6 in various locations.
Pastor Bike is chairman of the Federation House Church and an evangelist known for traveling mostly on his bicycle to hand out literature and Bibles and preach the gospel. He and his wife had been forced by government officials to leave Beijing Aug. 6 prior to the Olympic Games in the Chinese capital. The pastor and his wife were released from Public Security Bureau custody Aug. 29 but were told they could not return to Beijing until the end of the Paralympics Sept. 16, China Aid had reported.
After the Oct. 16 beating of Pastor Bike's son, China Aid reported that the pastor's wife was "kicked out of her legally rented apartment … at the Beijing Olympic Garden apartments…. The family's furniture was thrown into the street. Government authorities ordered all hotels in Beijing not to host her so she is now residing at Dr. Fan Yafeng's home. Dr. Fan, a house church leader in Beijing, is an internationally renowned Chinese constitutional law scholar and rights defender."
China Aid urged that protests of the beating of the pastor's son and the treatment of the family be directed to the Chinese Embassy in Washington.
The Chinese Embassy's phone number is (202) 338-6688; fax, (202) 588-9760; and address, 2201 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007.
China Aid added in its Oct. 16 report: "During the past 22 years, Pastor Bike and his family members have been arrested, beaten and evicted from their home numerous times because of their Christian faith, yet he and his family continue to serve the house church Christians in Beijing."
Pastor Bike, in his letter to government officials, said he has been arrested 10 times during 2008 and 26 times since 1986. Describing himself as "a good citizen of President Hu (Jintao)," he posed this question: "Dear leaders at all levels: I would like to ask you whether I can live in Beijing, rent houses there, stay in hotels there. … I would also like to ask you whether Zhang Mingxuan's family still has citizen rights. As a citizen and a Christian pastor, I do not have a place to sleep, so I would like you, the leaders, to give me an explanation and instructions. I am also requesting that you, the leaders, do something to stop the violations of the law and of the regulations" by various government officials. "I am also requesting that you, the leaders, give me rights as a citizen and give me justice."
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.)