URUMQI, Xinjiang, China, July 10, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Police in China's far western region of Xinjiang raided a house church Sunday school, rounded up 70 children and their teachers for questioning, and locked up seven women teachers in a local detention center, ChinaAid has learned.
The children were attending special summer classes arranged by the house church in the regional capital city of Urumqi when the police action occurred on the morning of July 2. Police from the Qiangfanggou police station and agents from the Sha district Domestic Security Protection Department rounded up all the children and Sunday School teachers and took them to a school where they were questioned. Some of the children's parents and school principals and teachers were also summoned and questioned.
Seven women Sunday School teachers, including Bao Ling, Wang Xingxing, Luo Qinqin, and Lu Xia, are still being held in the Xishan detention center.
"To prevent children from having access to religious education in the faith of their parents is a direct contravention of the U. N. Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981) and U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which was adopted by China in 1992," said ChinaAid's founder and president, Dr. Bob Fu.
"Arbitrarily detaining peaceful Sunday school teachers is a violation of their citizens' right to basic religious freedom," he added. "We urge the Xinjiang authorities to immediately release them and to halt their continuously intensifying persecution of religious believers, including those the Uyghur minority group who peacefully engage in their religious practices."
ChinaAid calls on the government of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to protect the right to religious freedom of its Han Chinese citizens. ChinaAid will pay close attention to the developments in this case and urges brothers and sisters everywhere to pray.