China Aid Association
(Khotan, Xinjiang—March 7, 2012) A Han Chinese house church in the ancient Silk Road city of Khotan in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of far western China was raided this past Sunday, ChinaAid has learned.
The March 4 raid in south Xinjiang’s Khotan, which sits on the edge of the Taklimakan mountain range, was conducted by local police and Domestic Security Protection agents who burst into a Sunday worship service in progress at a Han Chinese house church. They took away the preacher, Zhong Shuguang, who was also the head of the household where the worship service was being held, and confiscated a computer and a projector that were being used during the service. Zhong was later released and is now awaiting further processing of his case; the computer equipment has not been returned.
ChinaAid will closely monitor further developments in the case.
Background: The city of Khotan was known in ancient times as Yutian and was an important city of the southern branch of the ancient Silk. Around the time of the birth of Christ, it was a place where the Indo-European people, the Greek civilization and the Buddhist culture all flourished. From the 7th to the 9th century, the area was occupied by the Tubo people (ancient Tibetans), who were constantly at war with the Chinese Tang dynasty. In the late 9th century, Uyghurs fleeing from the grasslands of Mongolia drove the Tubo people out and formally took over occupation of Yutian.
Later, Christianity developed there. Around 795 or 798, the East Nestorian Church (Nestorius faction) decided to appoint a bishop in Khotan. In1006, Islam militarily conquered Khotan. From 1900 to 1930, missionaries from Sweden and Britain came to Khotan to evangelize. In 1950, China’s own Han Chinese missionaries from the “Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band” and the “Northwest Spiritual Movement” also came to Khotan to evangelize. In November 2007, Khotan Uygur Christian Osman Imin was sentenced to two years in a labor camp for preaching the Gospel.
(From History of Christianity in Xinjiang, China, with a general history background, by Mark Chuanhuang Shan)
Bob Fu, President | Mark Shan, News Analyst
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