According to China Aid’s press release yesterday, more than 210 house church pastors and believers in China: Hubei, Hebei, and Henan, were arrested since July 2005. Among those captured, two American tourists in Hubei were reportedly mistreated while being arrested.
On August 2, 2005, at 9:30 am, the two American tourists were in their host family’s home in Lutou Town, Zaoyang City, Hubei Province, preparing to hold a Christian fellowship with forty-one local Christians when thirty plainclothes policemen barged into the house to arrest them.
Eyewitnesses reported that the two Americans are believed to be theological students from Westminster Theological Seminary Campuses in Texas and California. However, the police refused to reveal their identity. For seven hours, they were interrogated and were not allowed to contact the US embassy or show any form of US identification documents including passports. On the same day, they were released at 5:00 pm with many of their belongings such as Bibles, notebooks, and books on Westminster Confession of Faith confiscated. One of them also had minor bruises from handcuffing.
However, the forty-one local Christians, along with their pastors, were brought to the second Zaoyang city prison. Sources from China Aid says that thirty of them have been released while the rest are still detained – many of them were reported to be tortured. Their possessions were also confiscated and a total of USD $1,265 in cash was taken from the host family and from each member.