The Persecution of Linfen Church

Before dawn on Sunday, September 13, 2009, a crowd of 400 government officials, police and hired ruffians launched an attack on Linfen-Fushan Church in Shanxi.

Picture Story of the Persecution Case

24 Photos tell the story of the persecution on Linfen Church.

Daughter of Linfen Prisoners’ Appeal

I am very worried about my parents, especially after the Linfen Inferior Court sentenced my father to three and a half years’ imprisonment on November 25th...

Video-Daughter of Imprisoned Linfen Pastors Speaks Out

In her appeal, Esther (Yang Xue) calls on the international community to fight for religious freedom in China.

Video-Linfen Church Persecution Review

A video sent from China reviewing the persecution cases on Linfen Church.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

山西临汾教会给习近平的公开信

对华援助协会 山西通讯员 2013年6月5日


给习近平主席的一封公开信

尊敬的习近平主席:

我们是山西临汾金灯堂教会的成员.

临汾金灯堂
2009年9月24日,临汾金灯堂遭一伙公安暴徒彻夜围困,凌晨突袭,经 打、砸、抢后,教会数十名领袖被非法抓捕,信徒遭野蛮殴打后驱逐,并有几十名同工被监禁,教会财物洗劫一空,临汾金灯堂沦陷后,被封锁至今近四年。

目前,临汾金灯堂仍被政府封锁,公安把守,从外观看,金灯堂门窗俱损,荒凉破败,满目疮痍,院内垃圾遍地,荒草凄凄。教案发生时打、砸、抢的遗迹仍触目惊心。

金灯堂被非法封锁后,信徒四散漂流,无法过正常信仰生活,只好化整为零,分别在闲置房屋,露天场地及城郊野地聚会,又屡次遭公安骚扰侵害,被迫多次迁移,除了逼迫以外,聚会环境极为恶劣,春天沙尘暴,夏天烈日暴雨,秋天阴雨蚊虫,冬天大雪酷寒,圣诞节、复活节、五旬节被迫在荒凉酷寒的野外。再加之《东方闪电》等异端邪教乘虚而入,吞噬信徒,危害教会,不法之徒威吓利诱,使临汾家庭教会更加雪上加霜。信徒在神面前恒切流泪祷告,何日才能重归金灯堂啊!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Picture Story of the Persecution on Linfen Church

In the early hours of September 13, 2009, 400 local police, government officials, and hired vandals attacked Fushan House Church, demolishing the new church building and damaging the Good News Cloth Shoes Factory in Linfen City, Shanxi.


Church members who were sleeping at the construction site were brutally beaten with bricks and clubs.

As the day broke, hundreds of believers from the 50,000-member Linfen Church network, rushed to the aid of the injured.

More than 30 church members had to be hospitalized in critical condition.


Those left standing sustained brutal beatings, leaving blood staining the remains of the building site.

The attackers showed no mercy for the young and old alike. One governing official shouted unabashedly, "Strike Everything! We will pay for it!"

Local Fushan County officials prohibited hospitals from giving the victims blood transfusions, forcing them to transfer to regional hospitals for care.

21 victims remain in critical condition today.

The unprecedented attack on the Fushan Church marked a bloody escalation of persecution against the 30 sister churches in the Linfen House Church network.

The attackers smashed appliances, looted valuables, and seized and destroyed personal items, including Bibles and Sunday school materials printed by the church.

Shattering the windows, doors, and machinery of the Good News factory, the attackers destroyed one of Linfen Church's primary sources of income.

Access to the factory site was closed off, with power, water, and all communications severed to Fushan and neighboring Linfen churches.




Two bulldozers decimated the foundations of the new Fushan Church building.

When the dust settled, 17 buildings at the factory complex had been reduced to rubble, the new church building a heap of brick and metal.






Before leaving, Fushan County officials "cleaned up" some of the mess, using the bulldozers to clear debris. The tracks left behind tell the true story. 






The next day, members of Jindengtai "Golden Lampstand" Church held a prayer rally for the victims of the Fushan Church attack. Despite police threats, more than 1,000 prayed together in the rain.




Days later, state military police stood 24-hour guard around the Linfen church buildings, barring believers from worshipping in their churches. When Fushan County officials banned Linfen Church, the Linfen Leaders planned to file a complaint with the Central Government.


On September 19, 2009, Fushan officials led covert negotiations with Linfen Pastor Yang Rongli and two staff. They offered the church 1.4 million Yuan to keep silent about the attack, but would not lift the church ban. Yang and the others refused the offer.



Pastors Yang Rongli (L) and her husband Wang Xiaoguang (R) were detained on September 25, 2009, with six other church leaders to prevent them from filing their complaint. 





Over the next two weeks, more leaders were harassed in order to break the spirit of the church. By November, ten remained illegally detained, including Yang Xuan (L) and his wife, Yang Caizhen (R).




With no warning, the family members of five prisoners were advised on November 2nd to hire legal counsel for the trial, to be held November 25th. They scrambled to hire defense lawyers on short notice.




As they prepared for the trial, the families were subjected to police surveillance in their homes. All but 4 family members in total were denied permits to attend the trial.





The show-trial lasted only one day—with all five leaders receiving criminal sentences in the end. Yang Rongli received the most severe sentence of 7-years imprisonment and a 30,000 Yuan fine.




On November 30, 2009, the five remaining Linfen church leaders were sentenced to two years of Re-Education through Labor each. Sustaining beatings and torture in prison, all ten have begun their appeals—in faithful pursuit of justice and religious freedom.

Daughter of Linfen Prisoners’ Appeal

Dear Friends,

Esther (Yang Xue)
I am very worried about my parents, especially after the Linfen Inferior Court sentenced my father to three and a half years’ imprisonment on November 25th. Five days later, my mother was sentenced to two years’ Re-education through Labor; the court made this decision without proceeding, investigating or gathering any evidence. On the next day, my mother would be transferred to Taiyuan City to serve the sentence at Shanxi Women Prison. Before she left, the police informed her relatives to bring some clothes and daily supplies to her. One of her relatives had the chance to briefly meet her and found that she did not look well. She had lost one front tooth; her hair seemed much greyer and her hands a little swollen.

Brothers and sisters, can you imagine how I felt when I heard this? I know my mother better than anyone else. She is just a housewife, dedicated to her faith and diligently serving the Lord. My father is prudent in studying and teaching the Bible; he practices what the Bible teaches. How could he do anything that violates the law? I still remember how he encouraged his children to carry out our New Year’s resolution in 2003. He earnestly instructed us about things we should not do in our lives: never take God’s name in vain, never outrage your conscience, and never disobey the law. How can a father of virtue violate the law? As for the so called evidence the prosecutors provided at the court, you would know it was false, especially light of the lawyers’ defense of my father. (See the Defense statement for Yang Xuan below Esther’s Appeal.)

I feel compelled to share my family’s story in the hope that you will see and know their true characters, and the extent of this injustice.


Yang Xuan
My father Yang Xuan began to serve the Lord full time in 1974, serving in ministry for 35 years. I remember when I was little, my father studied at Yanjing Seminary. I seldom saw him at home; he always went back to school soon after visiting our family. After graduating from the seminary, he had two choices before him: join the three-self church, enjoy a stable income, a peaceful life and a promising future; or join a house church by faith, which would not guarantee anything for his life. After fervent prayer, he chose to join a house church, which he believed to be in accordance with Biblical teaching. My father has always clearly understood what he chose in that moment.

In 1994, my father moved the whole family to Linfen to begin ministering. At that time, the churches in Linfen had recently separated from the Three-Self churches. Many brothers and sisters did not have a place to worship, and so assembled in the backyards of some church members’ houses. For six years, we endured harsh weather, be it coldness or heat, dusty wind or storm. Nevertheless, the congregation grew from 50 to 700 members. It would get so crowded that the late-comers would have to move into additional houses, just to listen to the sermons. All these sites were scattered at different places, so my father had to run around to preach in several different homes.

Driven by faith, he thoroughly enjoyed his work and never tired of it. Every night when I came home, I could always find my father talking cheerfully to my mother about how the brothers and sisters were nurtured on that day, and how many more were saved.

My father Yang Xuan, my uncle Wang Xiaoguang and his wife Yang Rongli, along with coworkers and church members led Sunday worship, member trainings, discipleship and the worship band for Jindengtai “Golden Lampstand” Church in Linfen City. My father was in charge of the band, which was active in fruitful ministry. In addition to leading the band and preaching, my father loves writing, and many of his dramas helped brothers and sisters learn about God as the head of the family. Over the years of preaching, my father learned from his experience and mistakes and eventually wrote a book “On Preaching.”

My father is not perfect, but he is man of principle, and he stands firm on what he believes. His parenting style was a little rough on his two children: My father would ask me to read the Bible daily, pray and do morning exercises, and read all kinds of spiritual books. He did not allow us to watch TV, go shopping, and he even put a curfew on us. All these restrictions made me antagonistic toward my father and his faith. I felt my father was “out-dated.” I did not realize I had benefited from his teaching in belief and daily life until later in life.


Yang Caizhen
My mother Yang Caizhen had been a doctor; she maintained a stable job and income. But she quit her job to support my father and his ministry. After her resignation, she had a much busier life; she had to take care of my father and supervise me and my brother to study. Sometimes, she had to work part time. Even so, she never forgot to urge us to study the Bible, go to church every Sunday and prepare ourselves to serve the Lord. This is how my brother and I built our foundation of faith. We were not willing to obey in the beginning; later as we grew older, we experienced the joy of the presence of God. Eventually, we repented and were baptized. While we were away from home for college, we participated diligently in church ministries. One time, I asked my mother, “Did you feel mistreated when my father was too busy with church to take care of us?” She replied, “No. I have always admired what your father is doing at church.”

This was my family, busy and full of joy. The events of September 13th struck me. I did not know something had happened until I tried, but was unable, to contact my parents by phone. On September 19th, I kept calling home but nobody answered. At first I thought I had dialed the wrong number; later I realized that the telephone line at my house was being transferred to somewhere else. I was very worried about my parents, so I kept on calling; but still, nobody answered. I still have not been able to talk to my parents.

I learned about the incident from my relatives and friends, and in early October, I learned from the internet news that my parents had been arrested and transferred to prison. On October 15th, a relative of my mother was asked to sign the Notice of Administrative Detention for my mother; as for my father, no one has seen his notice of detention. Currently, there has been unusually heavy snow in Shanxi, with predictions of the weather worsening. I am so concerned for my parents’ health.


Yang Family photo
My dear Christian brothers, sisters and churches, I am letting you know the harsh circumstances that dedicated Christians are facing in mainland China. My father, Pastor Yang Xuan, and my mother, Yang Caizhen, are being persecuted like many other Christians and house churches. Due to the persecution, I have been unable to contact my parents since mid-September. All we ask for is the freedom to worship and share the Gospel. Nowadays, the government reportedly advocates religious freedom and human rights; nevertheless, we have encountered many difficulties in exercising this very basic civil right.

Please do not reserve your sympathy for the Chinese Christians. As the New Year begins, please remember them in your prayers and appeal for them! I call upon everyone to fight for religious freedom in China, and to financially support organizations that advocate for religious freedom and human rights.

Here I would like to express my appreciation to China Aid Association. Ever since I lost contact with my parents, I have been able to receive the latest news from ChinaAid. They helped me contact the human rights lawyers to appeal for my parents, when all lawyers in China were warned not to deal with the Linfen Case. They made great endeavors to help my parents and the house churches leaders in Linfen.

As you consider ways you can help, I ask that you continue to pray for the deliverance of my parents and justice for all the imprisoned leaders. May the Lord bless the efforts of ChinaAid and other concerned human rights organizations, as they fight for religious freedom in China. May God bless their ministries and provide abundantly for what they need.

Thank you!
--Esther (Yang Xue)

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